James Howells says the driver is now buried deep below thousands of tonnes of rubbish on a landfill site in NewportAn IT worker says he accidentally threw away a computer hard drive full of Bitcoin now worth more than £74 million.
James Howells says the drive is now buried deep below thousands of tonnes of rubbish on a landfill site in Newport, Wales.
Bitcoin is digital currency which is seeing a spectacular surge in its value despite remaining out of reach for the vast majority of people.
One Bitcoin was worth more than £8,700 (or $11,000) on Sunday night, with its price having surged by 1,000% since the start of the year.
He says the drive is now buried deep below thousands of tonnes of rubbish on a landfill site in Newport, Wales .
It was even reported that the twin brothers who sued Mark Zuckerberg over the founding of Facebook are now billionaires after investing their lawsuit winnings in Bitcoin, Wales Online reports.
James chucked out the hard drive in 2013, forgetting that it contained the cryptocurrency which even then was worth “a few hundred thousand pounds”.
The 32-year-old began “mining” Bitcoin - a complex process - on his laptop in 2009. He mined 7,500 bitcoins which he saved in a wallet file on his computer hard drive.
He told the Telegraph : “After I had stopped mining, the laptop I had used was broken into parts and sold on eBay.
"However, I kept the hard drive in a drawer at home knowing it contained my Bitcoin private keys, so that if Bitcoin did become valuable one day I would still have the coins I had mined.
“In mid-2013 during a clear-out, the hard drive - then worth a few hundred thousand pounds - was mistakenly thrown out and put into a general waste bin at my local landfill site, after which it was buried on site.”
But James says he’s not “sat here crying about it”.
One Bitcoin was worth more than £8,700 (or $11,000) on Sunday night (Image: AFP) Read More
"Accidents happen. I just get on with it. I’ve always known Bitcoin would go this high and I’ve always known the value of the hard drive would go up.
“In the future I easily see it being worth anywhere from $500m (£270m) to $1billion.”
This week the currency ballooned to its highest value yet and James is seeking permission from Newport council to go looking for the laptop in the landfill.
He believes he can pinpoint the laptop’s location by estimating its depth based on the date it was thrown away.
He added: “The higher the value goes, the more chance I have to recover it so it’s just been a waiting game for the past few years - waiting until the bitcoin price was high enough to make the drive a juicy enough treasure to hunt.”