Bitcoin

A bathhouse in Brooklyn, New York, has left users on Instagram and Twitter divided after it revealed that it is using Bitcoin (BTC) mining rigs to heat its spa.

In a June 21 Instagram post, Bathhouse explained it is running Bitcoin mining rigs at its location in Brooklyn, which generates heat as a byproduct. In the post, it described in three steps how the heat is taken by heat exchangers and used to heat the venue’s pools via a circulating system.

Bitcoin mining is the process of creating valid blocks that add transaction records to Bitcoin’s public ledger, which is called a blockchain. Bitcoin mining consumes a significant amount of energy, often sourced from fossil fuels. This contributes to carbon emissions and raised concerns about its environmental footprint.

In January 2022, a report estimated that the Bitcoin mining network emits 42 megatons of carbon dioxide, accounting for 0.08% of the world’s total production.

Instagram users who follow the Bathhouse account weren’t all sold on the idea. One user who identifies as Annalarranaga posted, “This makes me like Bathhouse less. Now I’m concerned about who is mining this cryptocurrency, who is profiting from it, and whether I support that. We’re gonna need some transparency.”

Another user further claimed that Bathhouse customers “want pure, unadulterated heat for their salt baths, not that dirty byproduct heat.” On the other hand, some reveled in the disdain users had for the mining-heated pools, while at least one seemed happy with them, saying, “I for one think this is a great way to heat the pools and will check this place out because of this.”

Despite Bathhouse’s specific example of carbon-neutral Bitcoin mining, the impact of Bitcoin mining on the environment remains a significant concern for some, leading to unfavorable responses from them.

Related: CleanSpark buys two Bitcoin mining campuses for $9.3M

This, however, isn’t the first time Bitcoin mining heat has been repurposed to save energy. In Europe, miners have devised creative ways of recycling the heat generated by solving valid Bitcoin blocks. In Norway, Bitcoin miner and data center Kryptovault uses the hot air generated by Bitcoin mining rigs to dry out chopped logs.

Magazine: Inside the Iranian Bitcoin mining industry

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