Brooklyn spa’s Bitcoin mining-heated pools spark controversy on social media

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A New York bathhouse using a Bitcoin mining rig to partially heat its facilities made news and has drawn heat on social media.

BATHHOUSE, which opened in 2021, is a trendy Brooklyn spa offering patrons access to saunas, steam rooms, and three on-site pools, two of which are heated to over 90 degrees Fahrenheit—all of which, according to the spa’s Instagram, draw part of their thermal energy from a Bitcoin mining rig, also owned and operated by Bathhouse.

The spa revealed the existence of the mining rig in an Instagram post, stating: “Enjoy a hot pool while supporting the Bitcoin network.”

Bitcoin mining rigs consume significant amounts of electricity and generate a significant amount of heat. The heat generated from BATHHOUSE’s Bitcoin mining rig is directed toward heating the spa’s pools before being recycled to cool the hardware later.

Criticism from followers

The Instagram caption read, “Fun fact! Did you know our pools are heated with byproduct energy from Bitcoin mining?” While the spa seemed enthusiastic about sharing this information, many followers expressed their disapproval.

One user, @bjjacobs, commented, “In the year of our lord 2023… thinking bitcoin mining gives you cache? praying this is a poorly-conceived joke.” Another user, @goldenhoovez, called the post “the most unhinged content I’ve seen in some time.”

Despite ongoing criticisms, the wider cryptocurrency industry has taken environmental concerns under consideration to the extent that the last few years have seen fairly dramatic shifts in its approach to such concerns. Perhaps the most famous example was the Ethereum Foundation’s successful execution of the Merge in September 2022, which reduced the network’s energy consumption by more than 99.99%.

By March 2023, Bitcoin also made strides in environmental sustainability, with more than half of its Bitcoin mining being powered by green or renewable energy sources.

Still, some critics question the validity of arguments insisting that crypto in general—and Bitcoin specifically—are becoming more environmentally friendly by pointing out other unaccounted-for factors, such as the 59,770 tons of hazardous electronic waste produced each year as older ASICs are replaced with more efficient models, for example.

The post Brooklyn spa’s Bitcoin mining-heated pools spark controversy on social media appeared first on CryptoSlate.


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