There is $75m in Bitcoin Under 200,000 Tonnes of Garbage in a South Wales Tip

/ 3 years ago


$75m of unclaimed Bitcoin likely lies at the bottom of 200,000 tons of garbage

Got a shovel? Pair of marigolds? A spare 300 years? Then get yourself down to all of the rubbish tips in South Wales, there might be a hard drive with £75m of Bitcoin waiting for you.

Whether you would be able to claim it or not is uncertain, but one man at least, James Howells, knows that he could.

In 2009, at the infancy of the Crypto-currency game, James Howell set up his old Dell M1710 laptop to casually mine Bitcoin. After some time, he had eventually amassed 7,500 bitcoins.

Eventually butchering the laptop for parts, he kept the hard drive in a drawer for safe keeping.  Unfortunately, during a clean out, it was promptly binned. While I can not relate to losing £75m in Bitcoin, I can relate to that.

Estimated to have thrown it out in 2013, the value, even at that time would have been reasonably substantial. Alas, now the hard drive sits likely buried under a colossal pile of South Welsh rubbish.

With bitcoin now topping over $10,000 a coin, the value of the coins now would be around £75m. Amazingly though, he’s not bitter.


Why hasn’t he tried to find it?

Well, in a report via Wired, he did think about it, but unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy: “I haven’t actually tried to search for the hard drive yet as I haven’t been given permission to look despite having financial backing in place and engaging the local council a number of times. Digging up a landfill is not as easy as just digging a hole in the ground.”

This isn’t Atari’s ET in a landfill after all.

He is at least a little philosophical about it, I’m not sure I would be. The likely bottom line, however, is that the hard drive is lost forever. If it is in the tip, 4 years of cold, damp and slime probably haven’t helped. Just think about it though, a colony of rats is probably nesting next to one of the biggest lost Bitcoin claims in Britain.

In fairness, on his social media account James Howells is actually remarkably laid back about it and even shared some of the more humorous posts he gets including the hilarious one below.

What do you think? Could you bear losing 7,500 in Bitcoin? Are you off to get your spade? – Let us know in the comments!

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