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Oman Launches New Data Hosting and Bitcoin Mining Facility

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The  Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology (MTCIT) in Oman has established a new data hosting and Bitcoin mining facility estimated to cost approximately RO 135 million, or more than $350 million.

The Gulf country has been working hard to set itself up as the hub for crypto mining. As such, the country has been actively adapting its infrastructure and regulations to create a conducive and appealing environment for Bitcoin miners.

The new facility was developed by Exahertz International, an Afaaq for Advanced Technologies subsidiary, and will be grown to total capacity over time. The data hosting and Bitcoin mining center currently has around 11MW of capacity across 312,000 square meters.

With this amount of power, the facility is supporting more than 2,000 mining machines, with the ministry looking to increase the machines to 15,000 by October.

During the inauguration ceremony, Afaaq for Advanced Technologies received a commendation from the Minister, Eng Said Hamoud al Maawali, for its work in establishing the new data centers. According to him, the business is “a leading player in the data hosting and processing sector, and we are confident that they will be a valuable asset to Oman’s digital economy.”

Bitmain Technologies, a top-ranking manufacturer in China, have built the hardware systems and machines running in the facility. Bitmain is known for building high-performance computers specializing in using hydro technology as a cooling system for computers. Considering how much heat Bitcoin mining computers produce, using water as a cooling solution has proven very efficient in keeping temperatures at optimum.

Therefore, using Bitmain’s hardware, Oman aims to achieve a top-notch, high-performing, and high-efficient data center.

Bitmain technologies

This is the second data center that the Middle Eastern country has launched. The first one, Al-Madina Al-Khadraa, was established in November 2022 and is valued at RO 150 million, almost $390 million.

This massive investment in data hosting and crypto-mining facilities aligns with the country’s vision of offering employment to its people while positioning the country as a leading destination for Bitcoin miners in the region.

Eng Al Maawali says the new crypto-mining centers are a “major milestone” in Oman’s march toward digital transformation. He added that the centers will “help to accelerate the growth of our digital economy and create new opportunities for Omanis.”

The facility is still in a pilot phase before ramping up operations in the new data hosting center. According to Sam Ferdos, CEO of Moonwalk Systems and Strategic Partner of Exahertz International, the pilot phase must test and evaluate the environment and see what changes and adjustments need to be made to the data centers to enhance performance and create a more sustainable future.

The results from this pilot phase will inform future facility establishments with current developments being fast-tracked to add three more locations in Salalah and one in Al Jabal Al Akhdar in Al Dakhiliyah Governorate.

Oman’s Multi-Faceted Approach to Crypto Adoption

To adhere to its goals of bettering the lives of locals, Exahertz is looking to spread knowledge on blockchain technology into Oman by teaching the locals about it and data center management.

This will also make them more qualified to apply for jobs within the data center. As such, the government hopes to onboard youth into the space through internships.

Oman is building an all-rounded front in its embrace of crypto. Not only is it building infrastructure for miners, but the country is also working on regulating its crypto market to enable safer investment by its residents.

Early this month, the Capital Market Authority (CMA) of Oman asked its industry stakeholders to share their opinions based on a consultation paper that includes business requirements and measures to prevent market abuse and manipulation.

The consultation process that ended on August 17 ushers the country into the phase of drafting and finalizing the regulatory framework for virtual assets, adding it to the list of crypto-regulated countries.

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