Michael Schmid was an early adopter of bitcoin, but in 2014 he lost it all in the MtGox hack. Understandably he lost interest in bitcoin then, too.
As time went by, he became increasingly concerned about the “endless money printing” that governments and bankers engage in. “With that, I found that I don’t agree at all with fiat money and believe that Bitcoin should be the global reserve currency and a store of value,” he said to Cointelegraph.
He returned to bitcoin and began studying mining. He went deep on “ASICs, Antminers and all the other things that happened in the last years in the Bitcoin mining space.” He was working in an office at the time, and he had an idea. He bought an Antminer S9 from a friend and plugged it in where the office heater was.
“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”
Schmid had hit on a brilliant idea. The miner produced as much heat as an equivalent heater and was a bitcoin mining node. For no extra cost over standard heating, he could mine away happily.
He also liked to travel around the US in his Airstream RV. So when during Schmid’s next trip with his mobile home, the heater unit suffered intermittent problems, Schmid thought, “I could use the S9 heater to heat the Airstream as well as an alternative solution.”
The S9 proved to be overkill. The RV often became too hot, so he put the machine outside in a box, directing the hot air into the vehicle. Powered by solar panels on the roof and free electricity at the campsite, the S9 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).”
Schmid “saves about 50% of propane costs, about $2.70 per day,” and based on current estimates, generates “0.00006259 BTC per day”.
This idea could mean the big mining farms taking a smaller share and returning to the truly distributed system that was the original vision of bitcoin. It should also make the environmentalists very happy (yeah, I won’t be relying on that!). Apartment complexes, schools, and any place that currently needs heating could benefit immensely.