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A bathhouse in Brooklyn, New York, has divided Instagram and Twitter users after it was revealed that it uses Bitcoin (BTC) mining rigs to heat its spa.
Bathhouse explained in an Instagram post on Wednesday, June 21 that at N 10th Street in Brooklyn, it uses mining rigs that generate heat as a by-product. The post describes in three stages how the heat is taken by the heat exchangers and used to heat the pools of the facility through the circulation system.
Bitcoin mining is the process of creating valid blocks that add records of transactions to the public ledger of Bitcoin called the blockchain. Mining Bitcoin consumes a significant amount of energy, often sourced from non-renewable fossil fuels. This contributes to carbon emissions and raises concerns about its environmental impact.
In January 2022, a report estimated that the Bitcoin mining network emits 42 megatons (Mt) of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is 0.08% of global CO2 production.
Instagram users who follow Bathhouse’s account weren’t all enthusiastic about the idea. A user who identifies as Annalarranaga wrote: “This makes me love Banya less. Now I am concerned about who mines this cryptocurrency, who profits from it and whether I support it. We need transparency.”
Another user went even further, stating that Bathhouse customers “want clean heat for their salt baths, not dirty side heat.” Some, on the other hand, reveled in users’ disdain for heated mining pools, while at least one seemed pleased with them, saying, “I for one think this is a great way to heat pools and I’ll check out the place. because of this”.
Despite the specific example of Carbon Neutral Bitcoin mining at Bathhouse, the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining remains a major concern, resulting in adverse reactions from many due to its documented effects.
Related: CleanSpark buys two Bitcoin mining campuses for $9.3M
However, this is not the first time that the heat generated by Bitcoin mining has been used to save energy. In Europe, miners have come up with creative ways to utilize the heat generated by solving valid bitcoin blocks. Also in Norway, Kryptovault, a company known for mining Bitcoin, and the data center uses the hot air generated by the Bitcoin mining rigs, is recycled and used to dry chopped logs.