Venezuela has recently offered India a 30 percent discount on crude oil purchases if the country purchases it using its oil-backed cryptocurrency, the Petro.
According to a report published by the Business Standard, a team of experts from Venezuela’s blockchain department went to India last month to conduct the deal.
While in India, Venezuela’s experts struck a deal with Delhi-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinsecure, to sell the Petro in India. As covered by CCN, the oil-backed cryptocurrency was announced late last year and has been sold to investors. It’ll be launched after the presidential elections in Venezuela, which are set to take place on May 20.
Coinsecure’s chief executive officer, Mohit Kalra, revealed Venezuela was looking to add the Petro to the platform, so the cryptocurrency could be traded against bitcoin and the rupee. He added that the 30 percent discount was offered during the discussions. He was quoted as saying:
“They are going to different countries and making offers. The offer that they have given to the Indian government is: you buy Petro and we will give you a 30 per cent discount on oil purchases.”
As covered, Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has claimed the Petro’s pre-sale raked in $5 billion. The cryptocurrency was sold on 127 countries, and reportedly saw 171,000 would-be investors register to enter its pre-sale.
Kalra further added that Venezuela wanted to host a conference in India, in which Maduro would pitch the oil-backed cryptocurrency. The deal Coinsecure has with the country’s government will now see it offer Venezuela White Label cryptocurrency exchange solutions, so the Petro can be traded in Venezuela.
“That would be run by their brand name, but the back-end will be us. We plan to provide them with 10-15 cryptocurrency players.”
Angel Gonzales, Venezuela’s vice-minister for hydrocarbons, told Business Standard that the country’s government expects countries like India to have a “huge interest” in its cryptocurrency.
As covered by CCN, the Petro has drawn criticism, as the century-old think tank Brookings Institute claimed it undermines legitimate cryptocurrencies, and the country’s own National Assembly declared it unconstitutional.
US President Donald Trump has banned US citizens and residents from purchasing the oil-backed cryptocurrency, as it was created to bypass US sanctions. Venezuela has thanked Trump’s Petro ban, as it claims it was free publicity that helped double the number of interest investors.
Nevertheless, Business Standard revealed Venezuela plans to make the Petro its official currency by 2020. The country has claimed it will have a positive impact on its economy in “three to six months,” and that it may charge for exports in the currency.
Some investors, however, are still skeptical when it comes to the Petro. Speaking to Business Standard, a source stated:
“Even if it is backed by oil, it is more of a centralised currency. Nobody knows how many coins will be launched or issued. It is not decentralised like bitcoin or ethereum.”
Reports show India’s oil imports from Venezuela average around 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) between November 2017 and February this year.
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