Oman’s $350 Million Crypto Mining Center Advances Economic Digitalization

In a strategic move to expedite Oman’s economic digital transformation away from its oil-dependent exports, the Sultanate of Oman has unveiled a state-of-the-art cryptocurrency mining facility. This significant development marks the second such mining establishment in the country within the last ten months, reflecting the nation’s commitment to embracing the opportunities presented by the digital economy.

The recently inaugurated data hosting and cryptocurrency mining center finds its home in the Salalah Free Zone, a specialized economic region known for its advantageous corporate tax policies. Spearheaded by the local company Exahertz in collaboration with Moonwalk Systems, a blockchain enterprise headquartered in Dubai, the facility represents a substantial investment of approximately 135 million Omani rials, equating to around $350 million.

Leveraging cutting-edge hardware provided by Bitmain Technologies, a prominent player in the crypto mining industry, the center’s ultimate goal is to deploy 15,000 mining machines by October 2023. Currently, it operates on a pilot basis, housing 2,000 operational machines and consuming 11 megawatts of power, as per a report by the Oman Daily Observer.

The creation of this mining hub aligns with Oman’s strategic plan to diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on oil exports. Notably, this isn’t the first such venture, as another mining center was established in November 2022 at a cost of 150 million Omani rials, equivalent to $389 million. In 2022, business operators in the country were subject to electricity prices of 0.064 Omani rials ($0.166) per kilowatt hour.

Underscoring Oman’s dedication to integrating cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology into its regulatory framework, the government initiated a consultation paper on a national crypto framework on July 27. The framework’s potential provisions include mandating digital asset providers to establish local offices within Oman, maintaining a specified fraction of assets in hot wallets, conducting audits of safeguarded assets, and providing evidence of reserves.

Despite inquiries made to the Omani Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technology, as well as the Public Authority for Special Economic Zones and Free Zones, no response was received by the time of publication, according to a statement by Cointelegraph.

As Oman forges ahead with its ambitious plans to embrace the digital economy, the launch of this crypto mining center stands as a testament to the nation’s commitment to innovation and technological progress.