‘Bitcoin price is surging spectacularly and is soon to hit $20,000’ For BTC holders this news is literally music to the ears however not for one unlucky Bitcoin holder.
James Howells, an IT worker from the United Kingdom accidentally threw away his 7,500 bitcoins in the bin, which now reside peacefully under thousands of tons of rubbish at a landfill site in Newport, South Wales
Howells is one of the very first bitcoin miners. In 2009 he started mining bitcoins on his personal laptop by a process that includes solving a series of complex algorithms. He successfully mined 7,500 bitcoins which are now valued at $127 million. The 32-year old IT worker saved all his coins in a digital wallet on his computer hard drive and kept the drive knowing “if bitcoin did become valuable one day, I would still have the coins I mined.”
BUT, in 2013 while cleaning his home he accidentally threw his computer drive containing 7,500 bitcoin in the waste bin at his local landfill site in Newport. Reportedly, about 50,000 tons of waste is added at the landfill every year. So the cryptocurrency has been buried there for almost four years under thousands of tons of trash.
At the time he threw away the drive, a single bitcoin was worth $130, and gradually increasing the red-hot cryptocurrency is valued at about $17,000 a coin now.
Howells has been trying very hard to get his bitcoins back and wants to dig up the dump, however, the Newport City Council forbids him from doing so.
“A modern landfill is a complex engineering project and digging one up brings up all sorts of environmental issues, such as dangerous gasses and potential landfill fires,” Howells says. “It’s a big, expensive and risky project.”
Howells even agreed to back the operation financially if the City Council grants him their approval.
A council spokesperson said that their offices have been “contacted in the past about the possibility of retrieving a piece of IT hardware said to contain bitcoins,” however digging up a place containing four year’s worth of garbage could cause a “huge environmental impact on the surrounding area.”
Council officials believe that even if the hard drive is recovered, there are no possibilities for it to work as it’s been exposed to toxic waste and gases for almost four years now.
“It is likely that the hardware would have suffered significant galvanic corrosion due to the presence of landfill leachates and gases”
Howells can’t do anything about his lost assets because it’s no use crying over spilled milk, however, observing the nonstop incline in Bitcoin value, some speculate that the City Council may carry out a search operation eventually when Howells’ lost coins will be worth a fortune.
Howells story isn’t unique. There are a lot of other people who have accidentally thrown away hard drives containing valuable cryptocurrencies. Therefore, a lot of cloud-based services have been introduced which minimize the risks of physically losing cryptocurrency-storing hardware.