Bitcoiners mining cryptocurrency at home this winter have warded off freezing temperatures by using them as heating devices.
According to the Wall Street Journal, crypto miners in France and the US report that their heating bills have fallen overall – even if the temperature in their homes is often well above what they would prefer.
Thomas Smith, a California-based photographer, has been heating his home with mining equipment for at least 2019. He has also explored some novel uses, including employing the miners to warm up his two chickens in a free range coop and growing tomatoes in his greenhouse when the temperatures began to drop at night.
It’s not the first time that the idea has been implemented. According to reports from 2018, the co-founder of the Czech cryptocurrency exchange, NakamotoX, grew “cryptomats” in a five hectare greenhouse using the excess heat from crypto mining.
“My greenhouse is 24 cubic feet. So if you put all the heat from the cryptocurrency mining computer in, it’ll increase the temperature by about 40 degrees,” Smith told the WSJ. “Even in the depths of winter – with a night temperature of 45 degrees – that would still bring my tomatoes to their 85 degree limit. On warmer nights there is a risk that they will be roasted on the vine. “
“I have experimented with great success to heat my house with small-scale waste heat from cryptocurrency mining.”
Prior to the pandemic, when many were allowed to live on college campuses in the United States, students reported that they were mining “free” electricity from schools, which helped them meet electricity bills. A dormitory advisor at the time said he would simply mine crypto instead of space heating in winter.
Keep in mind, however, that it is difficult to mine many cryptocurrencies at home because the cost of electricity often makes using PCs to generate blocks financially prohibitive, especially for highly competitive companies using currencies like BTC.