As part of the strategy to build  crypto mining datacentres in Oman, the first phase of Asyad Group crypto mining center was launched in the Free zone in Salalah.

Built and managed by Exahertz, a subsidiary of Afaq Advance Technologies firm, the first phase was inaguarated during a ceremony attended by top Omani governmental officials. The ceremony was held under the auspices of Eng. Said Hamoud Al Ma’awali, Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology. It was attended by HH Sayyid Marwan Turki Al Said, Governor of Dhofar.

The ceremony included the inauguration of a pilot facility for the first phase of the project on the centre for data processing and hosting of cryptocurrency mining.

During the event the second phase of the project was also launched.

Al Ma’awali stated, “The inauguration of the first phase of the project reflects the ministry’s keenness on promoting digital investment and localizing advanced technologies. He added that the company in charge of the project is expected to achieve a quarter of envisaged volume of production before the end of 2023.

Dr. Ali Mohammed Tabook, CEO of Salalah Free Zone, underscored the significance of laying down the foundation stone for the Exahertz Blockchain Data Centre at an investment value of $348 million on an area of 312,000 square metres.

According to Sam Ferdos, CEO of Moonwalk Systems and Strategic Partner of Exahertz International, a wider network of blockchain-based data centres in planned in the Sultanate of Oman, starting with a pilot in Salalah.

Ferdos stated to Observer media, “The pilot is already online with 11 megawatts of power and over 2,000 machines. By October, capacity will be ramped up to have up to 15,000 machines online, with development fast-tracked to cover three locations in Salalah and one in Al Jabal Al Akhdar in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate.”

Prior to this announcement, Oman Ministry of Transport, Communications, and IT in partnership with Green Data City (GDC) the next generation data blockchain ecosystem, launched the first licensed sustainable crypto mining datacenter in Oman, and the GCC.  The delegation witnessed the first Bitcoin officially mined in Oman using immersive cooling technology which will reduce electricity consumption.

Under this license, industrial mining companies can now register directly with GDC Mining and operate within the development.

In addition Oman Investment Authority (OIA) took part in a $350mn equity round in Crusoe Energy Systems. The US firm helps oil and gas producers cut flaring by using stranded natural gas to power cryptocurrency mining. Crusoe systems set up operations in Oman as well.

Oman’s Green Data City, the first data center in Oman to obtain a crypto mining license will have full blockchain capacity in 2023. The datacenter which is nestled in Salalah region of Oman, harnesses its coastal location to utilize renewable energy sources.

As per a report in Oxford Business group, the project is set to receive more than $3.2 billion as part of Vision 2040 and is expected to reach full blockchain capacity in 2023.

The MTCIT announced in December 2022 that it secured OR150m ($390m) in investment from a consortium of local and foreign financiers to develop a large-scale data center at Green Data City. The investment is earmarked for the processing and hosting data; and the adoption of distributed ledger technologies, blockchain and financial technology.

In an interview with Said Abdullah Al Mandhari ,CEO of Oman ICT Group, he noted that advanced technologies and blockchain, in particular, have enormous potential to enhance Oman’s long-term economic development, especially considering the current business environment.

He added, “Artificial intelligence (AI), big-data analytics, blockchain and the internet of things (IoT) can boost efficiency and productivity in various sectors, such as finance, education, health care and logistics. It will be important for the energy sector in particular to adopt advanced technologies to increase productivity and align with long-term sustainability standards.”

For his part, Blockchain could be used to provide platforms that manage digital assets and conduct transactions while reducing fraud risks, increasing transparency and streamlining related operational processes. Blockchain would also be able to expand inclusion in the financial ecosystem, as it enables crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending for small- and medium-sized enterprises.

The report reiterates that the Oman regulator has announced the development of a regulatory framework for virtual assets and virtual asset service providers. This will help underpin the development of the digital asset and financial technology industry in the sultanate.

By regulating virtual assets, the Capital Market Authority aims to provide an alternative financing and investment platform for issuers and investors alike, while mitigating the risks associated with this asset class. The framework will cover activities such as crypto-assets, tokens, crypto-exchanges and initial coin offerings, among others.