The Sultanate of Oman, a 4.5-million populated nation, neighboring Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has launched a new crypto mining center, the second mining facility to open in the country in ten months.
According to Oman Observer, a data hosting and cryptocurrency mining center was inaugurated in the Salalah Free Zone, a special economic zone in the country with almost absent corporate taxes. A local company, Exahertz International, will run the center in cooperation with Dubai-headquartered blockchain company Moonwalk International.
The center reportedly cost 135 Omani reals (roughly $370 million) in construction, and, using the latest hardware from Bitmain Technologies, will set up 15,000 machines by October 2023. At the moment it operates in a pilot regime with 2,000 machines online, working from 11 megawatts of consumed power, according to the report.
The mining facility comes as part of a plan to accelerate the digitalization of Oman’s economy, mainly dependent on oil export. Another mining center opened in November 2022 with 150 million Omani Reals ($389 million) of investment. In 2022, the electricity prices for business operators in the country stood at RO 0.064 ($0.166) per kWh.
The government of Oman launched the consultation paper on a national crypto framework in the summer of 2023. The framework might require virtual asset providers to establish a local office in Oman. It could also oblige them to hold a smaller fraction of assets in hot wallets, conduct audits of safeguarded assets and show proof of reserves.
Cointelegraph reached out to the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information technology of Oman and to the Administration of Economic Zones but didn’t receive an immediate response.