New York: Circularity controversy: Bitcoin operations heats bathhouse in Brooklyn

Jul 03, 2023 | Posted by MadalineDunn

In New York City, Brooklyn, a bathhouse and spa named Bathhouse has shared that it is now heating its pools with mining, with the water from the pool, then going on to cool the hardware. The bathhouse and spa also Bitcoin payments. 

The company shared the news in an Instagram post: "Enjoy a hot pool while supporting the Bitcoin network. The pools absorb the heat and circulate cool liquid back to the miners. The process repeats forever."

Circularity and heat reuse are increasingly in the spotlight, however, bitcoin mining data centers are even more controversial than their more 'conventional' counterparts. It's estimated that the Bitcoin mining network emits 42 megatons of carbon dioxide, contributing 0.08% of the world's total production. However, concerns around bitcoin mining are not just focused on the environmental impact, Bathhouse customers have also raised questions about who is profiting. 

One user, Annalarranaga, posted:"This makes me like Bathhouse less. Now I'm concerned about who is mining this cryptocurrency, who is profiting from it, and whether I support that. We're gonna need some transparency."

Others expressed support: "I for one think this is a great way to heat the pools and will check this place out because of this."

Recently, we've seen similar projects, including in the UK, with Deep Green's campaign to heat UK swimming pools; this project, however, has not been the subject of controversy.