Oman's Visionary Leap Into Bitcoin Mining – Forbes

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A woman walks past machines for the production of bitcoin. (Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA / AFP)
The Oman Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology has unveiled a cutting-edge data hosting and bitcoin mining center. With an investment of $370 million, equivalent to RO135 million, Oman is keen on expanding its foothold in the bitcoin mining sector ahead of the upcoming halving.

The country’s systematic approach to evolving its infrastructure and regulations underscores its aspiration to become a central hub for bitcoin miners.
Exahertz International, an offshoot of Afaaq for Advanced Technologies, masterminded the development of this facility. The expansive area, spanning 312,000 square meters, presently harnesses about 11MW of capacity. This substantial power source drives over 2,000 mining machines. The ministry aims to increase this number to 15,000 machines by October.
During the centre’s inaugural event, Afaaq for Advanced Technologies received praise from the Minister, Eng Said Hamoud al Maawali. He commended the company, emphasizing its pivotal role in data hosting and processing. Minister al Maawali stated:
“We envisage them as a cornerstone of Oman’s burgeoning digital economy.”
There is a strong recognition that bitcoin mining will be a catalyst for economic growth. A partnership with Bitmain Technologies, a Chinese manufacturer, has strengthened the facility. Bitmain, celebrated for crafting high-caliber computers, incorporates hydro technology for cooling, an essential feature given the significant heat generated by bitcoin mining devices. The incorporation of Bitmain’s advanced hardware positions Oman’s data center at the apex of efficiency and performance.
Oman’s journey in this domain isn’t emerging. Al-Madina Al-Khadraa, its maiden data center, unveiled in November 2022, commanded an investment nearing RO 150 million, or roughly $390 million. These large investments resonate with Oman’s strategic vision – bolstering employment and carving a niche as a sought-after destination for regional bitcoin miners.
Eng Al Maawali applauded these centers as a watershed moment in Oman’s digital journey. He foresees them as catalysts, galvanizing the nation’s digital economy while unveiling opportunities for the people of Oman.
Sam Ferdos, CEO of Moonwalk Systems and a strategic ally of Exahertz International, highlighted the ongoing pilot phase. This critical phase is earmarked for testing and environment evaluation, ensuring any essential modifications are identified to bolster the center’s efficacy and sustainability. Feedback from this pilot will shape future blueprints. There’s an accelerated momentum to introduce three additional sites in Salalah and an Al Jabal Al Akhdar facility within the Al Dakhiliyah governorate.
In tandem with infrastructure growth, there’s a parallel focus on workforce talent. Exahertz envisions disseminating blockchain knowledge among the locals, equipping them for roles within these data centers. Government-backed internship programs further aim to attract the Omani youth.
Oman’s holistic embrace of bitcoin is multifaceted. Infrastructure development is complemented by regulatory measures ensuring a robust ecosystem. The Capital Market Authority of Oman recently encouraged industry insiders to voice their insights on a draft focusing on business prerequisites and curbing market malpractices. This consultation ended on August 17 and sets the stage for a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets, ushering Oman into the league of bitcoin-regulated nations.

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