Bitcoin Mining in a University Dorm: A Cool BTC Story

The humble university dorm is a place for students pursuing their undergraduate degrees to study, relax, make new friends, host wild dorm parties, and of course, mine Bitcoin (BTC).

Blake Kaufman, a master’s student in market research and self-described “data guy,” has connected an S9 Bitcoin miner to the Bitcoin network.

He won an S9 miner in a raffle at the Michigan Bitcoin mid-meetup and immediately set out to learn how to use it.

During a video call with Cointelegraph, Blake joked that he knew nothing about mining before the raffle. The moment he won, he raced to a nearby location, offering his father’s office a power cable and an Ethernet connection to try.

“We turned it on, never heard back [an S9] Before and if you know, when they start, they immediately go to 100% and we’re all in the room like — oh my god — that’s so loud! We drove it for two hours and we walked into this office and it was hot.

The sensation of heat and noise kicked his brain into gear. Michigan’s winter was fast approaching and its university provided free electricity. Why not Bitcoin from a hostel and Making use of waste heat? A minor was but Audible barrier to overcome. “How can we fix the noise,” he questioned.

“I just looked online, like how to make an S9 noise, and this image of a cooler came up on Pinterest. Me and my dad were like, ‘Let’s make it. Why not?’ So we bought a $5 cooler on Facebook Marketplace and we had tubes in our attic and we spent about two hours drilling holes and it worked.

The pair built a bitcoin mining cooler box, which now resides in Blake’s dorm room. The finished product wouldn’t look out of place in any dorm room and “is actually quieter than an air conditioning unit,” he explains.

Two angles of a bitcoin miner attached to a cooler.

But don’t the university have such rules? Wouldn’t an energy-hungry bitcoin miner put a dent in the university’s electricity grid?

“So a miner is about 900 watts per hour, a mini-fridge is about 60 to 100 watts per day. So that’s drawing a reasonable amount of power there. I looked at all the rules and nowhere does it say You can’t mine bitcoin or use a bitcoin miner. So if they say you can’t do it, I’m like, well, you didn’t say I can’t.

In short, Black isn’t breaking any rules. Moreover, a miner in a dormitory of a major university is unlikely to arouse suspicion in a house of thousands of students. This is an example of the famous saying attributed to Rear Admiral Grace Hooper that sometimes, “it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission.”

The ASIC S9 is now churning out about 0.000001 BTC or 100 satoshis — the smallest amount of a Bitcoin — per Bitcoin block, which happens every 10 minutes on average. This translates to “about a dollar a day” in fiat money terms. It’s a modest amount but as a student it’s not to be sniffed at.

Black’s total cost to start his Bitcoin mining venture was less than $20 for a cool box and a few cables, and he could probably reuse the cooler in the summer.

Mining cooler interior.

Incidentally, Blake’s next challenge is figuring out what to do when the weather turns nice and the mercury rises. Peak summer days in Michigan can reach 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 Celsius). As a result, the outside air temperature will not cool the miner, which is an important part of its function:

“So I’ll have to figure something out, maybe put it in a box of ice cubes and something. I don’t know yet.”

Blake has already considered using the bitcoin miner to heat his family’s home after graduation. Black explains that the idea is to test whether he can cover the cost of gas at home and make it profitable. “It’s just unfortunate because, in Michigan, our electricity cost is $0.14 per kilowatt.”

Michigan’s energy costs are relatively high in the United States, as indicated by the dark purple color. Source: Chooseenergy.com

Michigan has high electricity and heating costs. In energy producing states like Texas. Using waste heat from Bitcoin mining could be a way to offset energy costs.

Related: Bitcoin Shutcoin Machine: Mining BTC with Biogas

No doubt, Bitcoin miner tapping into waste heat One is A growing trend, especially prevalent at home Or the “Chicken Shake Miner,” as he’s known. BTC Gandalf of Brains Marketing Team told Cointelegraph:

“Chicken Shack” miners are the backbone of the Bitcoin network hash rate. It’s incredible to see all the different ways they come at me. They provide an invaluable service in keeping the hash rate decentralized.

Armed with Bitcoin knowledge, Black has since tried. An orange pill to his classmates And even professors. Unfortunately, some of them believe that “Bitcoin is a scam.He has taken it upon himself to set the record straight:

“I’ve been emailing these teachers like, hey, office hours, when are they? Let’s have a chat. You can’t just come out and say Bitcoin is a scam with a Bitcoiner in the room.

Meanwhile, S9 is hanging out in his dorm room, contributing to a network that strongly supports Black and generating 100% “free money.”

Well, “besides the $30,000-a-year tuition I pay, but it’s 100% free electricity,” he joked.