Oman is making a foray into blockchain technology, driven by the prospects of improving its digital economy in a rapidly changing world.
Said Abdullah Al Mandhari, CEO of ITHCA Group, told CoinGeek Backstage that investing in emerging technologies like blockchain will contribute significantly to Oman’s gross domestic product (GDP) as it mulls a diversification from oil. Investment fund ITHCA has since struck a partnership with blockchain solutions provider nChain to introduce the technology into critical sectors of the Omani economy.
Mandhari remarked that his company is on the hunt for investment opportunities across the blockchain ecosystem, noting that to make the right bets, it will need to build relationships with industry leaders. The CEO pointed out that a partnership with nChain was an easy choice for the investment firm, given the similarities of the investment strategies of both entities.
Mandhari disclosed that the collaboration with nChain will offer several real-world benefits in Oman, including speeding up the pace of blockchain adoption. The ITHCA Group CEO pointed out that an obvious utility will be in the area of research and development across several pivotal industries in Oman.
For Mandhari, the partnership will be mutually beneficial for both entities as it gives nChain the opportunity to experiment with its blockchain solutions in fast-evolving sectors that are peculiar to Oman and other Middle Eastern markets.
Experts have spotted applications across the verticals of finance, supply chain, manufacturing, logistics, and telecommunications, poised to contribute billions to the Omani economy before the end of the decade.
Mandhari made his comments at an event put together by the Global CIO Institute Oxford, delving into the applicability of blockchain for government and enterprises. Attendees at the summit highlighted numerous blockchain use cases outside of tokens and decentralized finance (DeFi) to include a convergence with AI, data integrity, privacy, and traceability.
“This event is a good opportunity for us to network and share knowledge,” said Mandhari. “It is a very prestigious event for us to meet lots of people in this field, which is very important to us as a strategic investment company focusing on emerging technology.”
Moving the pieces of the puzzle
Omani authorities are putting the final touches to their ambitious plans to pivot to Web3 via the proposed launch of a regulatory framework for digital assets. To reduce the chances of pitfalls, the Capital Market Authority of Oman (CMA) rolled out a public consultation to gauge the opinions of service providers, academics, and users over the plans.
The securities watchdog is reportedly mulling plans to establish a state-run digital asset exchange with the protection of investors at the top of the pyramid for Omani authorities.
“The CMA is seeking to provide an alternative financing and investment platform for issuers and investors while mitigating the risks associated with the virtual asset class,” read the consultation document.
Watch: The Middle East’s Blockchain Race
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