Michael Schmid first came into contact with Bitcoin (BTC) in 2013; he installed the Bitcoin core, mined some BTC and then bought some Bitcoin from MtGox. Schmid told Cointelegraph that shortly after the infamous Mt. Gox hack, in which Schmid lost his Bitcoin, he, too, “lost interest.”
2020 came around and Schmid became “very active again” as concerns about “endless printing of money” preoccupied him.
“With that [la impresión de dinero] I found out that I don’t agree with fiat money at all and I think Bitcoin should be the global reserve currency and a store of value.”
A studious and curious mind, Schmid again dabbled in BTC mining, building on the foundation of the knowledge he had gained 7 years earlier. He learned about “ASICs, Antminers and all the other things that have happened in the last few years in the Bitcoin mining space”, before having a eureka moment.
“It makes a lot more sense to replace a resistive heater (such as a space heater) with a bitcoin miner, as both will convert electricity to heat, while the bitcoin miner also generates bitcoin”
Since Schmid was working in an office at the time, he “bought an S9 from a friend and used the S9 miner instead of the space heater to heat his office, which worked perfectly.” Schmid had discovered a winning combination.
He could solve valid Bitcoin blocks and reap the rewards while keeping his living and work space nice and warm. Aside from office work, Schmid also enjoys traveling around the United States, often in his American-style RV, an Airstream.
So when during Schmid’s next trip with his Airstream (see photos), the heater unit suffered intermittent problems, Schmid thought “I could use the S9 heater to heat the Airstream as well as an alternative solution.”
They say necessity is the mother of invention, so Schmid “started thinking about how he could build the system.” Space is at a premium in an Airstream, and if the S9 were placed inside the RV, “the RV would easily overheat.”
“So I came up with the idea of keeping it in a box outside and directing the hot air into the airstream.”
After a number of iterations and a few surface burns, a short circuit, and a day when the airstream ambient temperature rivaled that of a Scandinavian sauna: “[I] I got the inside temperature of the airstream to 90F [32 grados Celsius] for a day while the heater was running when it shouldn’t,” Schmid finally cracked it.
The RV stayed warm while mining Bitcoin, powered by solar panels on the roof and free electricity at the campsite, which negated the need to burn propane gas. Schmid added: “We have a pretty small airstream (only 22 feet), the larger RVs have much larger propane heating systems and would pay a lot more for propane (they could also run more S9s of course).”
But why go to all the trouble of equipping an RV with a Bitcoin miner? Why not try to fix your propane heater problem?
Okay, it’s a cool Bitcoin side project. However, not only has it solved intermittent heating problems, but Schmid “saves about 50% of propane costs, which is about $2.7 per day,” and based on current estimates, generates “0.00006259 BTC per day.”
In all, Schmid and his fiancée “technically heat the airstream for free” while securing the Bitcoin network.
Schmid has shared a message for any aspiring miner:
“I really encourage anyone to play around with home mining, I really think one of the most important things about Bitcoin is the decentralization of not just coins but also mining infrastructure.”
In a word of encouragement, he concludes that “the more home mining setups there are, the better.”
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