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Oman Bets Big on Crypto With Massive Mining Investment

Oman Bets Big on Crypto With Massive Mining Investment

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5 hours agoMon Aug 28 2023 10:13:47

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  • Oman has recently invested nearly $800 million in cryptocurrency mining operations, positioning itself as a digital hub in the region
  • Notable deals include a $300 million partnership with Phoenix Group and a $370 million project by Exahertz International
  • While Islamic scholars debate cryptocurrency’s compatibility with Sharia law, the Middle East and North Africa have shown significant crypto market growth

Oman appears to be betting big on crypto after it was revealed that The Sultanate of Oman has made significant multi-million investments into the blockchain infrastructure this month, with the country aiming to position itself as a digital hub. The investments show that Oman wants to take on local rivals such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the race to attract the investment that some Western countries are trying to prevent in a sign that the Middle East could become the next crypto powerhouse.

$800 Million in Recent Investments

The Omani government’s recent crypto interest includes a near-$800 million investment in various cryptocurrency mining ventures, most notably a $300 million agreement struck with Abu Dhabi’s Phoenix Group last week. The move will establish a 150-megawatt crypto-mining farm in partnership with Green Data City—Oman’s first licensed crypto-mining entity—which is set to be operational next year.

Preceding this, the country’s capital city, Muscat, approved a $370 million project led by Exahertz International to install an additional 15,000 machines by October, as reported by local news. Said Hamoud al-Maawali, Oman’s Minister of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology, hailed these investments as a “significant milestone” in Oman’s drive to foster the growth of its digital economy.

Middle East Waking Up to Crypto Potential

Oman’s recent ventures into crypto-mining coincide with a broader regional warming to cryptocurrencies, which actually dates back many years to when Bahrain granted BitOasis the country’s first crypto license. There are some concerns, however, over whether cryptocurrencies are halal (permissible) or haram (forbidden) under Sharia law. While some Islamic scholars deem cryptocurrency’s speculative nature as impermissible, others argue that its lack of interest (riba) and growing acceptance as a currency make it halal.

The regulatory landscape in the Muslim world remains varied; while countries like the UAE and Bahrain position themselves as attractive crypto hubs, others like Turkey allow trading but restrict crypto for payments and financial intermediaries.

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