Though India has put a near-ban on cryptocurrencies trading in the country, in what could be seen as dramatic incidence -- amid India's ban on cryptocurrencies -- South American country Venezuela, which has the largest oil reserves, and the eighth largest natural gas reserves in the world, and consistently ranks among the top ten world crude oil producers, has offered India a 30% discount on crude oil purchases. However, the discount will be applicable only if India uses the country’s new cryptocurrency Petro, which was recently launched in February this year.

Petro is claimed to be backed by Venezuela's oil and mineral reserves purportedly as a means of circumventing U.S. sanctions and accessing international financing. Petro was also launched in order to supplement the country's currency - bolívar fuerte, which in rapidly decreasing in terms of value.

According to a report, a team of experts from Venezuela’s blockchain department was in India last month, and as per sources, they have entered into a pact with Coinsecure, a Delhi-based bitcoin trading firm, to sell Petro in India.

It is in that discussion during the India tour, the CEO of Coinsecure, Mohit Kalra said that Venezuela proposed the idea of offering India at least 30 per cent discount on crude oil purchases through Petro. “They are going to different countries and making offers.", said Kalra.

The offer that they have given to the Indian government is -- you buy Petro and we will give you a 30% discount on oil purchases", Kalra said.

According to multiple sources, Petro has already raised more than $3.8 billion, with interests from more than 127 countries during the pre-sale. Kalra said Venezuela wanted to host a conference in India where its President Nicolas Maduro would have pitched for Petro. Based on the deal, Coinsecure is also providing them with White Label exchange solutions — all cryptocurrency players who want to trade in Venezuela will have to trade on that exchange. “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,” Kalra said.

Put on a pre-sale on February 20, Petro is the world’s first state-backed cryptocurrency tied to the South American country’s oil reserves. Many see this as the safest cryptocurrency, as Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves of 300 billion barrels. The world’s largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia, is a distant second, with 266 billion barrels of oil reserves.

The white paper of Petro initially stated that the cryptocurrency would be on the Ethereum platform, though later on the launch date the white paper was changed and the platform was to be with NEM, a peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and blockchain platform launched on March 31, 2015.

Although its a notable offer for India but one thing to keep in mind is that last month the US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order prohibiting transactions in any Venezuelan government-issued cryptocurrency by a United States person or within the United States.

Speaking about India, the Modi-led government in the country isn’t giving up on the idea of a virtual currency completely. In line with central banks around the globe, the RBI too is mulling introducing a fiat digital currency called 'Lakshmi' coin, which would become an alternative to the Indian rupee for digital transactions, and unlike bitcoin which is a non-fiat digital currency, the new one will be fiat-cryptocurrency.

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