Man Throws Away Hard Drive Holding $7.5M In Bitcoins

December 2, 2013


James Howells of Wales is sad. Really sad. You see, James threw away a hard drive containing the 7,500 Bitcoins he purchased back in 2009. Now those Bitcoins are worth $7.5-million. If I were James I would be on top of a bridge right now. "Suicide?" Worse -- stuck in traffic because he still has to go to work everyday.

"You know when you put something in the [trash], and in your head, say to yourself 'that's a bad idea'? I really did have that," Howells, who works in IT, told the Guardian.

It was just this past summer that he went through his belongings and threw out the hard drive, thinking it was junk.

Then he went down to the landfill with the idea of digging for it, but was told it's not as simple as going in with a shovel.

"[E]ven for the police to find something, they need a team of 15 guys, two diggers, and all the personal protection equipment. So for me to fund that, it's not possible without the guarantee of money at the end."

But he's still hopeful that someone may find the hard drive, and split the take with him.

"If they were to offer me a share, fair enough," he said. "If they were to go out and find it for themselves ... it's my mistake throwing the hard drive out, at the end of the day."

What landfill was this again? I only ask because my weekdays after 5PM and weekends after 10AM are pretty much free for the next eternity and I love treasure hunting. Could you imagine finding $7.5-million? I've shit myself after hitting $100 on a lotto scratcher before. I would definitely need to be on the toilet when I found that hard drive.

Thanks to Thaylor H, who agrees there's no forgiving yourself for throwing away seven and a half million dollars.

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  • Elliot Edwards

    The guy lives local to me. I think it may be a bit of a porky in all honesty. He had asked for "donations" in the local newspaper. I wish I had donations for the money I've accidently thrown away.

  • So the guy lost zero actual money, right? He had some play money. The shits gone... he's the same as we was before. I have everything correct? Or is there a dude actually willing to give you 7.5 million USD for these?

  • Novan

    Bitcoins are basically a digital currency that isn't tied to any government. They are used all over the world by hundreds of thousands of people. Their value is VERY real.

  • Let me rephrase. 7.5 million dollars and your life changes. You can buy a badass house and several badass cars pretty much anywhere or just live off the interest forever. 7500 bitcoins and you're still left trying to haggle one of the 6 gas station attendants in the world that will will give you gas at the bitcoin a gallon rate.

  • Alexander

    People would actually be willing to give him 7.5m for those. Yes.

  • Listen, I understand the concept. If enough people think it has value then it does. The problem is that no one knows how much value, or if people will continue to think it has value in the future. 7.5 could turn into 1.5 overnight, then 0 the next day. The massive up and down swings that have already occurred show how volatile it is. You'd have to be pretty damn rich and willing to take a huge gamble to drop 7.5mil on a currency that only 0.000001% of the world considers actual currency.

  • Alexander

    It's actually quite a lot more than 0.000001%. Also, bitcoin value has been going way up for a reason: they're in demand.

  • thatcando

    i am pretty sure this guy just likes the idea of all of his villages inhabitants digging in trash! made up story...

  • MustacheHam

    One man's trash is another man's treasure.

    I'm getting my shovel.

  • I don't know it it would make him feel any better, but if that drive was hooked up to the internet those bitcoins probably got stolen ages ago,

  • thedawg

    Bitcoins don't work that way.....

  • What way?

  • thedawg

    transactions are distributed online, so it doesn't matter if you lose your hard drive, otherwise everybody would lose all their bitcoins whenever a hard drive dies

  • You can very easily lose your bit coin 'wallet'. In fact, that's one of the problems with bitcoin--it's easy to steal.

  • Well, yeah, but the lost hard drive contains the cryptographic "private key" that is needed to be able to access and spend the Bitcoins; so without it, the "money" is, in effect, lost forever.

  • Shiela Dixon

    I don't believe this story. I heard the guy on the news saying 'I'm gutted'. Anyone else wouldn't be talking to the media but out there on the landfill site with a shovel. We know it's the area of a football pitch (soccer to you GW) and could be 3 feet down. For 4 million pounds. He's exaggerating, otherwise he'd be out there now.

  • Christoffer Jeppesen

    So there story must be fake because his personality differs from yours. Okay.

  • You can't just go down to landfill sites and start digging.
    There are laws and regulations. Plus there's the safety aspect.

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