A man threw away an old PC hard drive while doing a quick spring clean of his home in Newport Wales, U. Fast-forward almost a decade and he's still desperately petitioning to be allowed to go through his local landfill. The reason the man, year-old IT engineer James Howells, wants to trawl through his local trash site is that the hard drive he threw out included a wallet with 7, Bitcoin. At the time he threw out the hard drive, that amount of Bitcoin would have been worth thousand dollars thousand pounds.
Today, it would have made him a millionaire, as it would be worth a total of million dollars. In an interview with The Guardian in , Howells explained how he had been looking through the landfill, which is roughly the size of a football field.
And he actually took me out in his truck to where the landfill site is, the current ditch they're working on. It's about the size of a football field, and he said something from three or four months ago would be about three or four feet down," Howells explained. Following initial scavenging efforts for the lost hard drive, Howells seemed resigned to losing the digital fortune.
More recently, however, he has recruited local residents in Newport to help him search for the device. Anyone who helps him find it, he says, is promised to be rewarded millions — if the hard drive is still readable, that is. The year-old also offered to donate 25 percent of the potential findings — roughly 70 million dollars— to a "Covid Relief Fund" for his home city.
He had originally mined the virtual currency four years earlier when it was of little value. But when the cryptocurrency shot up in value and he went in search of it, he discovered that he had mistakenly thrown the hard drive out with the trash. Now, with his lost bitcoin having soared even further, Howells has approached Newport City Council in Wales to ask for permission to dig a specific section of the landfill site where he believes the hard drive ended up.
In return, he has offered to pay the council a quarter of the current value of the hoard, which he says could be distributed to local residents. Read More. The digital currency was created in by an anonymous computer programmer or group of programmers known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoins are essentially computer files that are stored in a "digital wallet" on your device.
They can then be used as payment, with every transaction being recorded in a public list known as blockchain. Bitcoin rally may be the 'mother of all bubbles' says BofA. Unfortunately they refused the offer and won't even have a face to face discussion with me on the matter.
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In a statement to CNN, however, a Newport City Council spokeswoman said the city was not allowed to excavate the site. Howells on a number of occasions that excavation is not possible under our licensing permit and excavation itself would have a huge environmental impact on the surrounding area," she said. Wallet Recovery Services, a firm that helps recover lost digital keys, told The Times that it received 70 requests a day from users trying to access their digital wallets — a number that is three times what it was a month ago.
Check out: Personal Finance Insider's picks for best cryptocurrency exchanges. Keep reading. US Markets Loading H M S In the news. Tom Murray. The Newport City Council told CNN it was not allowed to excavate the site, warning of the environmental impact, "without any guarantee of either finding it or it still being in working order.
Sign up for our weekday newsletter, packed with original analysis, news, and trends — delivered right to your inbox. Loading Something is loading. And he actually took me out in his truck to where the landfill site is, the current ditch they're working on. Why aren't I out there with a shovel now? I think I'm just resigned to never being able to find it. After that conversation, Howells all but resigned to the fact his fortune would never be claimed. But soon after, he began a search himself and still believes there is hope that the drive is both reachable and readable in its likely deteriorated state.
In a last-ditch effort, he has now recruited residents of his local town to join the hunt, with the promise of millions if the search succeeds. Citing the ecological damage trawling through buried rubbish would cause, a lack of a permit to search the rubbish, and the sheer uncertainty that the hard drive even lays there, the council will not allow anyone to search the mounds, CNBC reports.
After that conversation, Howells all but resigned to the fact his fortune would never be claimed. But soon after, he began a search himself and still believes there is hope that the drive is both reachable and readable in its likely deteriorated state. In a last-ditch effort, he has now recruited residents of his local town to join the hunt, with the promise of millions if the search succeeds.
Share on Facebook. Share on Twitter. We had everything else at the time; Google, Facebook. The only thing that was missing was internet money. Bitcoin, a virtual currency invented in , has gone mainstream and now it can be used to pay for some online services, and can even be retrieved from an ATM.
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James Howells, 35, said he mistakenly put a hard drive with 7, bitcoins in the trash while clearing out his home in To my surprise, the loss of his hard drive had not dimmed Howells's interest in cryptocurrency. He had set his father up with a small amount of. "I found a blank 20GB hard drive in my drawer instead of thousands of Bitcoin," Howell told CBS News. Since then, he's been lobbying the local.