The bitcoiners mining crypto coins at home this winter have been avoiding sub-zero temperatures by putting their rigs to good use as heaters.
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According to the Wall Street Journal, crypto miners in France and the United States report that their overall heating costs have dropped, even if the temperature in their homes is often far above their preference.
Thomas Smith, a photographer living in California, has been using mining rigs to heat his home since at least 2019. He has also been exploring some novel uses, including using his equipment to heat his two chickens in an outdoor henhouse and to grow tomatoes in his greenhouse when temperatures began to drop at night.
This is not the first time the idea has been implemented, with reports in 2018 that the co-founder of the Czech cryptomint exchange, NakamotoX, had been growing „cryptomates“ in a five-acre greenhouse using the excess heat from cryptomint mining.
„My greenhouse is 24 cubic feet, so putting all the heat from the cryptomining computer would increase its temperature by about 40 degrees,“ Smith said at WSJ. „Even in the middle of winter, with a nighttime temperature of 45 degrees, that would still push my tomatoes to their 85-degree limit. On warmer nights, you risk roasting them on their stems.
„I have experimented with heating my house using the waste heat from small-scale cryptomining, with great success“
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Prior to the pandemic, when many were allowed to live on U.S. college campuses, students reported mining with „free electric power provided by schools, which helped them cover their career expenses. One dormitory resident advisor said at the time that instead of using a heater in the winter, he simply mined cryptosystems.
But before you rush out to buy cryptomining equipment to save on heating bills, remember that it is very difficult to take advantage of mining many cryptomonds at home, as the cost of electricity often makes using personal computers to generate blocks financially prohibitive, especially for ultra-competitive currencies like BTC.