NYC spa’s bitcoin mining operation causes debate over pool heating.

A spa and bathhouse located in Brooklyn has caused controversy by revealing that it operates a small-scale Bitcoin (BTC) mining operation that heats its swimming pools.

On Wednesday, in an Instagram post, the bathhouse named Bathhouse disclosed that its pools are heated with the byproduct energy from Bitcoin mining.

The bathhouse uses the heat that is produced by Bitcoin mining rigs, which are hardware systems that execute the computational process of the Bitcoin network, to warm up its pools. The water is then returned to cool down the hardware later in the process.

The company claims that operating as a Bitcoin-mining-heated bathhouse proves that Bitcoin mining is a viable option, and it can be used in other heating solutions.

Bathhouse, which also accepts Bitcoin payments, has been using this unique heating process since March 2022.

The bathhouse, located in Williamsburg and opened in 2021, features several amenities and treatments, including multiple steam/sauna rooms, facials, massages, and even a restaurant. The spa also has three pools on-site, two of which are heated to over 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

The company’s Instagram post suggests that the bathhouse takes the energy from Bitcoin mining, sends it through heat exchangers, and then uses it to warm up the pools.

In addition to this innovative heat utilization, the company is also committed to offsetting its carbon footprint, thereby achieving carbon neutrality.

By adopting such practices, they are not only helping to secure the Bitcoin network but are also generating revenue in a sustainable way.

However, some people did not react positively to Bathhouse’s mining operation, leading to criticism due to concerns over the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining.

According to a recent report by The Guardian, Bitcoin mining releases carbon dioxide in amounts comparable to the entire country of Greece. Furthermore, data accumulated by Earthjustice.org shows that from mid-2021 to mid-2022, Bitcoin consumed as much electricity as Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Rhode Island put together.

“In the year of our lord 2023… thinking Bitcoin mining gives you cache? praying this is a poorly-conceived joke,” replied user @bjjacobs.

Another user expressed concern over who was mining the cryptocurrency and who was profiting from it, while others asked for more transparency.

Despite criticism, the post did receive support from Bitcoin enthusiasts.

Bradley Rettler, one of the “Bitcoin philosophers” from the group Resistance Money, wrote on Instagram: “Thank you for securing the network, helping resist authoritarianism, and bringing financial freedom to people while you heat your pools!”

Crypto Mining Industry Faces Another Hurdle in Venezuela

In March, regulators in Venezuela ordered a halt on mining cryptocurrencies after an investigation into a corruption scheme in which crypto wallets redirected payments owed to the state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela.

However, as the state’s halt on crypto mining approaches its third month, more miners could be forced to sell their rigs and shut down permanently.

Crypto miners from other parts of the world are also struggling with the plunge in Bitcoin prices on top of higher electricity costs. In December last year, Core Scientific, the largest public Bitcoin miner by computing power, filed for bankruptcy. Argo Blockchain, Iris Energy, and Greenidge Generation are among the more notable Bitcoin mining companies that are facing financial issues.