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‘Venezuela offered major oil discount to India to use Petro’



Indian media say Venezuela is working on a proposal to provide New Delhi with a discount of 30 percent over oil purchases if it uses President Nicolas Maduro’s cryptocurrency brainchild – Petro.  

The Business Standard said in a report that the proposal had been raised during a last month visit to India by a technical team from Venezuela’s “blockchain department”.  It added that the team had even entered into an accord with Coinsecure, a Delhi bitcoin trading player, to sell Petro in India.

More specifically, a representative for the cryptocurrency exchange firm noted that they planned to provide the Latin American partner with 10-15 cryptocurrency players, the daily said in its report. Maduro also reportedly considered coming to India for a conference to officially pitch his financial brainchild, it added.

Also, according to the sources cited by the Business Standard, apart from India, Venezuela is proposing the same business plan for other countries.

Venezuela officially launched Petro in early 2017 thus becoming the first country with its own oil-backed cryptocurrency.

What makes it different from most other cryptocurrencies is that it is the one and only around the world to be backed by oil supplies, most notably, Venezuela’s vast 300-billion-barrel reserve, which leaves even Saudi Arabia with its 266 billion barrels far behind.

Preliminary sales of Petro stood at $735 million and officials in Caracas said they believed sales could soon reach the threshold of as high as 100 million, with an initial value set at $60, given the price of a barrel of Venezuelan crude oil as of mid-January.

The plan to launch Petro was announced by Maduro in 2016 amid an economic crisis and a plunge in the value of the Bolivar, the country’s currency. Apart from oil, it is also based on natural gas, gold and diamond reserves.

Using the comic character as a code for the United States, Maduro has hinted that Petro could bypass the US financial system, saying, “today, a cryptocurrency is being born that can take on Superman,” according to a report by Russia’s Sputnik news agency.

Maduro solemnly announced that he had put the country on the world’s technological forefront, albeit blockchain experts had warned that the Petro was unlikely to draw significant investment due to its deep economic imbalances that will imminently undermine confidence in the new digital currency.

“We have taken a giant step into the 21st Century. We are on the world’s technological vanguard,” Maduro said in a nationally broadcast show, as reported by Sputnik.

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