One of the most bullish trends of the last couple of years has been the emergence of nation states stepping into the bitcoin mining game. Earlier this year, we discovered that the Kingdom of Bhutan has been mining bitcoin using excess hydroelectric energy since 2020 and has plans to aggressively expand operations in cooperation with Bitdeer in the coming years. Like it or not, it has become clear that Russia is mining bitcoin via a deal announced last Summer between the state-owned energy company Gazprom and BitRiver. It was announced in the Spring of this year that Marathon Digital has partnered with the UAE to expand their operations to Abu Dhabi. And last week, Oman announced that they are officially backing Exahertz, an Omani bitcoin mining company, to expand their operations by 800 megawatts with a $1.1B investment.
This is a beautiful thing to see and a direct validation of something bitcoiners have been saying for well over a decade. Once individuals, companies and nation states alike understand the power of bitcoin, what it brings to the world, and how they are incentivized to participate in the network as early as possible they will aggressively move into the market to acquire their stake of the network by any means possible. The earlier one gets in, the more they benefit in the long run. It seems that, after years of deep contemplation, the Omani government has come to the conclusion that bitcoin and the infrastructure being built around the network is worth investing in and endorsing. Even more critical, after years of diving into the details of bitcoin and its monetary policy the Omani government came to the conclusion that bitcoin is Sharia compliant money, which is massive in more ways than one.
Firstly, bitcoin being Sharia compliant is a massive unlock. There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world and the ability for them to adopt bitcoin knowing that they are operating within Islamic laws eliminates a large barrier to entry. Beyond that, having the idea of Sharia compliant money spread into public consciousness is a great way to highlight just how corrupt the fiat system is and how bitcoin is an alternative that aligns with ethical frameworks of monetary systems that have been laid out by different religions over the course of millennia. When compared to fiat money, which is a debt based monetary system heavily dependent on interest payments on debt to maintain relative stability and functionality, bitcoin fulfills the rules of Islamic finance because it doesn't involve riba, or interest. Saifedean Ammous explains how bitcoin works within this particular framework of Islamic finance in the clip below.
Similar to the stories in the Bible that highlight Jesus' aversion to "money changing" activities that debased the value of money that enabled a select few to benefit from the process, Islamic finance demands that the money Muslims use isn't debt based. By acknowledging that bitcoin is Sharia compliant, the Omani government is sending a signal that will force more people to research why this is and why the incumbent fiat system is so corrupt. This is a net benefit for bitcoin's narrative moving forward.
The announcement of Exahertz expanding its operations within Oman is great to see on two fronts. Bitcoin mining hashrate is becoming more geographically distributed and bitcoin is officially being recognized as in accordance with Islamic law. The latter of which opens up the market to almost 2 billion people and forces more people to question the ethics of the fiat monetary systems that rule the world today.
Bummed to be missing the BitBlockBoom conference for the first time ever, but excited to celebrate the marriage of a great couple.
Enjoy your weekend, freaks.