Cryptocurrency mining PCs are serving as heaters in winter | Finance

The harsh northern hemisphere winter does not appear to be a problem for cryptocurrency miners. Instead of heaters, computers are providing heat to homes like that of French engineer Dan Van der Ster, interviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The process of mining digital assets is heavy and naturally warms the machines, which turned out to be beneficial during the winter.

Cryptocurrency mining with GPUs heats houses in winter (Image: WorldSpectrum / Pixabay)

Miners save on heaters

Dan Van der Ster, 40, lives in France, on the Swiss border. The region easily registers sub-zero temperatures during the month of February. With the COVID-19 pandemic still forcing people from all over the world to stay at home, the father of a family of five told the WSJ who feared the heating gas bill at the end of the month.

He noted that electricity costs inevitably skyrocketed throughout 2020, as the whole family is always at home. However, to his surprise, there was no extra expense on heating. A new computer, initially purchased for his son to play heavy games, is now also used to mine cryptocurrencies (and continuously heat the house).

He does not specify which currency he started mining, nor does he detail the gains he has made so far with the process. But at least he found that at least one expense was reduced during that cold period.

Greenhouse heated by mining

Another interviewee, Californian photographer Thomas Smith, found an even more unusual way to take advantage of the heating of his powerful computer that he uses to mine digital assets. He channeled the heat emitted through a pipe that leads to a greenhouse that set up his garage. There he grows basil, tomatoes and cherries.

Over the months of the pandemic, he expanded his idea. He set up a small structure in his yard and bought two chickens. This time he left his computer case inside the chicken coop for heating to be more effective. Smith, in fact, worries if the heat is too much for the animals, “I don’t want to overheat them.”

Gamers also benefit

Rebecca Ratchford, lives in Cary, North Carolina, and she told the WSJ that all this winter he hasn’t used his thermostat even once. She has been working remotely since the beginning of the pandemic and uses her gaming computer to play “Destiny 2” in her spare time.

Ratchford said his computer’s custom cabinet emits enough hot air, enough to heat the three rooms in his home over the course of a day of use. “When an invasion is happening within the game, my PC will fry,” said the young woman.

GPU mining grows during quarantine

Cryptocurrencies have taken the news from around the world during the past few months. In combination with the COVID-19 pandemic, a period in which the use of personal computers intensified, the mining of digital assets has also become increasingly well known.

Bitcoin (BTC), for example, no longer allows mining via video cards, but other strong cryptocurrencies do. Ether (ETH), for example, is the main digital currency mined through Nvidia’s GPUs.

The video card maker recently announced that there is a shortage problem with the GeForce RTX 3060 model, which has fallen in the taste of ether miners. To lessen the impact of this on the gamer audience, the company will start to reduce the GPU’s ETH mining performance.

Meanwhile, Nvidia has also revealed that it will resume production of so-called CMPs, or Cryptocurrency Mining Processor, cards dedicated exclusively to cryptocurrency mining, with no graphics output and that will cost less.

With information: The Wall Street Journal

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