Sharia Compliant?: Oman Invests $800 Million in Crypto Mining
28 Aug 2023 by Rory Kejzerko 2 min read
Sharia Compliant?: Oman Invests $800 Million in Crypto Mining

As the nascent technology of crypto continues to seep into mainstream living, conflicts with traditional systems are becoming more or less inevitable. 

The government of Oman, which is a Sultanate of the Arabian Peninsula, has announced that it’s recently invested close to $800 million in crypto mining operations. Given that the vast majority of the country's 5 million population is Muslim, the monumental move comes amid claims that it goes against Sharia Laws. 

Oman’s Crypto Investment 

Per reports, Oman’s near $800 million investments in crypto mining operations includes a $300 million deal which sees it team-up with Abu Dhabi-based ‘Phoenix Group’ to develop a 150-megawatt crypto-mining entity (set to go live next year). 

Such move followed a $370 million deal that was forged with ‘Exahertz International’ to launch 15,000 more mining machines by October. 

Per the words of Said Hamoud al-Maawali - the county’s Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology - these investments mark a ‘major milestone’ in helping ‘accelerate the growth’ of Oman’s digital economy. 

Are Oman’s Crypto Investments Sharia Compliant?

Oman’s heavy investment in crypto has intuitively prompted the following question to arise: is crypto haram?...

That is, is it forbidden or unlawful within the context of Islamic finance?

More specifically, Muslims cannot invest in, acquire, or otherwise engage in transactions that involve forbidden products and activities. These include contexts involving pork-related products, alcohol, gambling, and pornography.

As you may have guessed, Muslim concerns surrounding crypto come through its speculative nature. In the past, these have inspired fatwas (Islamic legal edicts) to be issued across many major Islamic countries, such as Turkey, Egypt, and Indonesia. 

However, as others have argued, crypto could be deemed halal in Sharia law due to its omission of interest (a.k.a. riba). With the likes of Bitcoin featuring this attribute, this talking point could prove vital in the coin’s mission to becoming a widely-accepted global payment method. 

Other Islamic Crypto Projects- Oman Are Not the First

The debate over crypto’s status as a Halal practice is by no means new, however per observations across the space, it’s pretty evident that the majority of Muslim nations are giving it the go-ahead.

For example, and per an October 2022 report by Chainalysis, the Muslim-majority countries of North Africa and the Middle East were the fastest growing crypto markets last year. 

Oman’s move into decentralised finance also comes after the world’s first Sharia compliant cryptocurrency ‘Islamic Coin’- which will govern ‘Haqq,’ an eco-friendly blockchain that’s purposely-built to abide by Islam’s principal financial traditions. 

And finally, spearheading these forward-thinking endeavours are countries such as the United Arab Emirates, who’ve made its infamous capital of Dubai a world-leading hub for entrepreneurs (many of which being digital and crypto native).   

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This article is intended for educational purposes and is not financial advice