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Bitcoin computers use a lot of energy in order to make a record on the blockchain. Heatmine, a Canadian mining company, has found a way to recycle some of that energy in an innovative way--to heat buildings.

Fast Company's Adele Peters writes:

The company started first with its own large warehouse. “We’re in Quebec–it’s very cold 10 months of the year,” says Jeremy Dahan, Heatmine’s COO. “So we started recycling the heat.” Heatmine first used the excess energy from its processing systems to heat its water.

Now, though, the company is experimenting with a network of decentralized mining machines that can connect to heating systems elsewhere, like private homes and businesses. Essentially, Heatmine connects a small mining machine to a heating system. As the machine runs and mines bitcoin, the heat the process generates is transferred to more productive use, like warming a home.

One of the company’s machines can provide 75,000 BTU in an hour, or enough to heat up to 300 square meters 24 hours a day. In larger buildings, the company can install additional units. The system can be used in houses or in industry. It’s similar to projects that heat buildings with waste energy from servers (often giving eliminating heating bills for residents) or data centers that send heat into district heating systems for neighborhoods.

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