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- Oman launched a 135 million OMR (+$350 million) crypto mining and data center facility in the Salalah Free Zone. This is the second crypto mining center launched in the last 10 months.
- Exahertz and Moonwalk Systems partnered up to make this project possible. Bitmain Technologies, the popular crypto-mining rig producer, is the hardware provider.
Oman’s MTCIT inaugurates new mining and data center
The Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology (MTCIT) in Oman has recently inaugurated a new crypto mining and data center.
Located in the Salalah Free Zone, the project has an estimated value of 135 million OMR, or approximately $350.6 million. At this stage, the facility has an 11 megawatts capacity, operating approximately 2,000 mining machines.
It should reach full capacity by October 2023, which could host up to 15,000 machines. That would represent an important share of global crypto mining capacity. The company uses the latest hardware from Bitmain Technologies.
Eng Said Hamoud al Maawali, the MTCIT, attended the inauguration. This suggests Oman has a strong interest in using digitalization as a tool to diversify its economy.
The country is well-known as an essential oil producer. Based on June 2023 figures, the daily output exceeds 1 million barrels. Although an integral source of revenue, Oman seems to be shifting towards other industries.
Low corporate taxes and special economic conditions are key features of the Salalah Free Zone. Oman incentivized companies in the industry, and results are already showing up. The thriving data hosting and processing sector has a large economic impact.
Modernizing the economy via digitalization?
This is the second facility of its kind in Oman. In November 2022, another crypto mining center valued at 150 million ORM (or $389 million) began operations.
The combined net worth of both centers is estimated at $740 million.
Due to lower crypto valuations and rising energy costs, some mining companies are relocating to energy-focused countries.
Oman’s MTCIT sees this as an opportunity to “help accelerate the growth of the digital economy and create new opportunities for Omanis.” Publications like Forbes claimed the country has a visionary leap into Bitcoin mining.
“The new facility will help to accelerate the growth of our digital economy and create new opportunities for Omanis.”Eng Said Hamoud al Maawali – Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology
Exahertz and Moonwalk Systems – the companies behind the project
The data hosting and crypto mining center is called Afaaq for Advanced Technologies. Also, it is operated by Exahertz International in collaboration with Moonwalk System.
Exahertz International is a local company from Oman. It specializes in data hosting and cryptocurrency mining.
On the other hand, Moonwalk Systems is a Dubai-headquartered blockchain company. It also happens to be a strategic partner for this crypto-mining project.
A few years ago, China was the global hub for cryptocurrency mining. As the government banned such operations inside the country, companies had to relocate to better areas. The United States was one of the options, but the Middle East is also gaining traction as of late.
Is the global economic and political landscape ideal for the region? Probably yes, given these countries must gradually move away from fossil fuel production.