Oman’s Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology (MTCIT) has reportedly opened a new data hosting and cryptocurrency mining center in the Salalah Free Zone. The facility’s estimated value is over RO 135 million (more than $350 million).
Another country that decided to spend millions of dollars on a crypto mine is Kyrgyzstan, whose center will be powered by a hydroelectric station near the Naryn river.
As reported by a local media outlet, the authorities of Oman have introduced a second cryptocurrency mining center after the one announced in November 2022 (valued at almost $390 million). The combined investment of $740 million could significantly boost the local digital economy, provide numerous job opportunities for Omanis, and place the country as a global data hosting and mining hub.
The company which set up the facilities is Exahertz International. Its CEO Sam Fedows hinted that a wider network of blockchain-based centers could pop up in the Sultanate of Oman in the near future, starting with a pilot in the Salalah Free Zone.
The project is already live and involves more than 2,000 machines. The capacity will be strengthened by additional 15,000 devices by October, while the trial could also cover other regions such as Al Jabal Al Akhdar and Al Dakhiliyah Governorate.
Fedows informed that the crypto mining centers will use local infrastructure (including electricity and personnel), arguing they could boost Oman’s economy. He added that the facilities use machines produced by the Chinese crypto mining manufacturer Bitmain Technologies.
Subsequently, the exec predicted that the project will be beneficial for Oman’s development and economic growth. He presented himself as a proponent of blockchain technology, seeing it as “the future.”
Kyrgyzstan – a country located in central Asia – also entered the crypto mining industry by spending $20 million to construct such a facility. It will be located close to the Kambar-Ata-2 Hydro Power Plant, so it can use excessive energy from the station.
There are some periods throughout the year when the latter produces more electricity than necessary, which could be one way to avoid wastage. Speaking on the matter was President Sadyr Japarov, who greenlighted the project:
“We have enough electricity on summer days. It even exceeds. We cannot sell anywhere. Therefore, in order to benefit the energy system, we are allowing sites that can carry the load.”
The political leader informed that the crypto mine could temporarily halt activities during winter when the power plant’s productivity is not that high. Building the facility should be finalized in Q2, 2024.