Man accidentally throws away 4 million quid's worth of Bitcoins

28 November 2013

You know how it is. You’re upgrading your computer, so you chuck out your old one, giving it up to linger in a landfill forever more. BUT WAIT! Your hard drive was full of Bitcoins from 2009, which were nothing but worthless pixels back then. You had 7500 stored on there, which you’d generated yourself. And now they’re worth £613 each. Which means…YOU THREW £4,597,000 IN THE BIN YOU ****** IDIOT.

Utah Software Engineer Mints Physical Bitcoins

Well, that’s what happened to IT worker James Howells from Newport, South Wales, who was tidying up his drawers one day and decided to throw out his knackered machine. He’d forgotten about his crazy Bitcoin generating phase, and got rid of it last year.

Bitcoin launched in 2009, and you used to be able to make them yourself on an ordinary computer. Now it’s become increasingly harder to generate them, and they have grown in value – today they fetch $1000 each.

James explained: ‘I hadn't kept up on Bitcoin, I'd been distracted. I'd had a couple of kids since then, I'd been doing the house up, and forgot about it until it was in the news again. There's a pot of gold there for someone… it's my mistake throwing the hard drive out, at the end of the day.'

Poor, foolish James. Now, digging it up would be like looking for bitcoins in a crapheap. According to landfill officials in Newport, the computer could be anywhere amongst the acres of festering rubbish, and buried approximately four feet deep.

*Puts on wellies*

TOPICS:   Technology   Banking   Investments   Economy   Gadgets


  • Tim
    This morning they were worth £653 each. As I write this, they're fetching £800.
  • Olde S.
    Presumably the concept of recycling hasn't made to Newport yet.
  • Olde S.
    ** made it
  • John
    A lot of this story doesn't add up, he claims not to have been mining very long but even back in 2009 7,500 bitcoins was a lot particularly as he was apparently just using a laptop and not any GPU accelerated solution. If he'd had 7,500 bitcoins they'd have still have been worth a reasonable amount at the time even though nowhere as much right now. Plus not much of an IT professional to have neither backed up the drive nor wiped it before binning it.
  • Man R.
    [...] …about his crazy Bitcoin generating phase, and got rid of it last year. Bitcoin launched in 2009, and you… James explained: ‘I hadn’t kept up on Bitcoin, I’d been distracted. I’d had a couple of kids since…See all stories on this topic [...]

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