While the Oman Capital Markets Authority awaits feedback for its virtual assets framework consultation paper, it has approved registry of Oman’s Easy Coins, a non custodial crypto provider, as the first VASP in the country.

Easy Coins has been operating in Oman for over two years. In December 2022 Easy Coins launched its trial of Tether USDT on the Tron Blockchain. Accordingly Easy Coin users in Oman could purchase TRC20 USDT.

Prior to that The Oman Water and Waste Water Services Company ( OWWSC), member of Nama Group, trialed its stablecoin linked to the Oman Riyal. The company signed an MOU with Oman based Digital Digits, the creators of Easy coins and Connected Chains to trial “ Hasalah” a stablecoin Wallet.

Easy Coins was launched in Oman in June 2021, as a non custodial crypto Brokerage platform, The platform is powered by Quantoz Blockchain Technology for financial services, and running on Nexus from connectedChains and supported by ThawaniPay.

Given that Easy Coins was already self regulating and adhering to CMA’s FATF KYC nad AML requirements, they were considered the first to be registered as a VASP seeking full license in Oman.

Dr. Khalid M.W. Tahhan, Co-Founder, Easy Coins ME stated, “We at Easy Coins believe that innovation from society will always be ahead of any regulator in any industry and nation. Thats why for vision 2040’s primary innovation pillar to be properly realized, it is essential that innovation from society should not be slowed down or hindered till regulators catch up, but rather it is essential for innovators to innovate and regulators to catch up with them rapidly. We commend the capital markets for their rapid response and acclimatization towards innovations in virtual assets and believe with such adaptable regulators, this industry will have a healthy place in Oman to flourish.”

Speaking to LaraontheBlock Tahhan explained, ” Registration is stage one which means we were cleared for KYC, AML, CDD requirements, full licensing is the next stage and will happen next year. Today we are allowed to operate because our risk measures are covered.” 

HH Sayyid Azzan Bin Qais Al Said Co-Founder of Easy Coins added “ Easy Coins has been in operations for two years and has been self regulating its operations since its launch. Hence when CMA initiated its registration process for Virtual Asset Service Providers, we were able to instantly meet CMA’s and FATF’s KYC/AML requirements.“

At the end of July 2023, the Oman Capital Market Authority issued a Public Consultation Paper on its Virtual Assets Regulatory Framework.

The Capital Market Authority, Sultanate of Oman (CMA), which regulates and develops Oman’s financial markets for the capital market and insurance sectors, had earlier announced its plans to establish the new regulatory framework for Virtual Assets (VA) and Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASP).

As per the Oman Capital Market Authority announcement, the entity is currently in the process of drafting the comprehensive and facilitative regulatory framework, which will include a new regulation to cover all virtual assets activities, a licensing framework for all VASP categories and a supervisory framework to identify, assess, and mitigate ongoing risks. This is being done after the CMA had made an extensive global analysis and benchmarking with other jurisdictions.

The proposed new regulatory framework is envisaged to cover activities such as crypto assets, tokens, crypto exchanges, and initial coin offerings, among others.

The CMA has invited public and all relevant stakeholders, VASPs, financial institutions, academics, legal firms, consumer groups and other businesses that may be impacted by the VA and VASP frameworks, to provide their views and comments to the public consultation paper. The public consultation paper may be downloaded from the CMA’s website at www.cma.gov.om.

Responses are required within three weeks or before August 17th 2023. Responses to the public consultation paper can be made electronically via email to: kemal.rizadi@cma.gov.om.

In February 2023, Oman CMA announced its plans to develop a regulatory framework for virtual asets and VASPs. To assist in the development of a comprehensive regulatory framework for virtual assets in Oman, the CMA engaged the services of XReg Consulting Limited, an international policy and regulatory consultancy that specializes in virtual assets, and Said Al-Shahry and Partners, Advocates & Legal Consultants (SASLO), an Omani law firm.

Oman based Mamun to develop secondary token crowd funding market after receiving license from Oman Capital Market Authority

Oman based Mamun, has been awarded a full crowd funding license by Oman’s Capital Market Authority, with plans to offer a crowd funding token based secondary market utilizing its recent partnership with Fasset token exchange platform.

The recent license is also a pre-approval for a PSP (Payment Service Provider) license by the Central Bank of Oman. As a fintech infrastructure-as-a-service provider, Mamun offers a proprietary technology platform that empowers telecommunication companies, banks, and large startups with the tools and capabilities necessary to roll out fintech services and products, including popular solutions like Foodics.

Excitingly, Mamun has recently announced a strategic partnership with Fasset, a renowned innovator in the field. This collaboration aims to co-create advanced products that further enhance Mamun’s holistic approach to fintech services. By combining their respective strengths and expertise, Mamun and Fasset strive to drive innovation, accessibility, and convenience in the financial industry.

“We are thrilled to have been granted the full crowdfunding license by the Capital Market Authority and the pre-approval for the PSP license from the Central Bank of Oman,” said Mohammed Al Tamami, Co-Founder  and Chief Commercial Officer at Mamun. “These licenses are a testament to our commitment to delivering state-of-the-art fintech infrastructure and comprehensive solutions. We are excited to expand our offerings and partner with industry leaders like Fasset to shape the future of finance.”

The global Tokenization Market size to grow from USD 2.3 billion in 2021 to USD 5.6 billion by 2026, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 19.0% during the forecast period, according to a new report by MarketsandMarkets published in May 2023. 

Oman Capital Market Authority recently issued its new Securities Law (46/2022) which  stipulates that the authority can “Agree to application of technologies, virtual digital investments or any products or services in the areas related to the provisions of this law, as set out in the Regulation.”

In an article in Oman Observer, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Salim Al Salmi, Executive President of the  Oman Capital Market Authority states, “ The law will contribute to the growth of FinTech based services as the law authorizes the authority to regulate innovative financing, approval of FinTech based apps and virtual investments. The law also allows expanding the financing options by regulating new products and services.”

In March of 2022, Oman Capital Markets Authority (CMA), invited companies interested in helping it set up a regulatory framework for virtual assets to participate in a tender process. According to sources, the regulatory framework should be finalized by Q3 of 2022.

The new Securities Law is only further proof of the commitment Oman government and Capital Market has for developing its virtual assets framework and allowing the trade and investment in virtual assets in the future. This could pave the way for security token issuances in the Oman stock market a bold step into the future of investments and stock trading. 

The Executive President of the Central Bank of Oman, Mr. Tahir Salim Al Amri, commented during the 7t Edition of the new Age Banking Summit on the topic of CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies)

As per a tweet from Oman News Agency stated, “The Central Bank of Oman is working to issue its own CBDC. Many central banks are studying the possibility of issuing their own CBDCs and the Central Bank of Oman is committed to supporting innovation in the financial sector.”

He also mentioned that work was underway to open banking API services and overcoming challenges that face the digitization sector, and stressed the importance of cyber security.

In April 2022, Oman Capital Market Authority announced that it would incorporate real estate tokenization within its virtual assets regulation as well as license crypto exchanges. The Oman virtual asset regulation will be finalized by Q3 of 2022.

Kemal Rizadi, Advisor at the Oman Capital Market Authority made these comments during the Real Estate Exhibition and Conference held in Muscat Oman. As per the comments, real estate tokenization is an option being considered in the proposed virtual asset regulatory framework under process within CMA.

Earlier this year in January 2022 The Oman capital markets Authority announced a tender for specialized companies to assist in setting up a legislative and regulatory framework for virtual assets and licensing supervision and regulations of Virtual assets service providers within the Sultanate of Oman.

Finally it also seems that Oman is indirectly starting to enter the crypto mining sector. Oman’s sovereign wealth fund took an equity stake in a U.S. firm which helps fossil-fuel producers cut flaring by using stranded natural gas to power cryptocurrency mining instead.

Oman Investment Authority was part of the $350 million equity round that Crusoe Energy Systems Inc. raised in April, 2022 according to a statement.

US based Crusoe is opening an office in Oman to deploy power generators and mining equipment for capturing gas at well sites. These statements were made by CEO of Crusoe Chase Lochmiller. It is known that MENA accounts for about 38 percent of the world’s gas flaring.