A guy dropped his old PC hard drive into the garbage while performing some Spring cleaning in 2013, and it swiftly joined the mound of trash at his local landfill site in Newport, Wales, UK. He had no idea at the time that the same hard disk had a wallet containing 7,500 Bitcoin, which was worth £500,000 ($665,000) in the early days of cryptocurrency.
That pocketbook is valued at about $357 million dollars. When he learned what had happened, he began a frenzied hunt for the hard drive, which he has been doing ever since. James Howells has spent the last eight years sifting through mountains of trash in search of his $350 million needles in a haystack – a haystack the size of a football field.
“I talked to one of the men down there and explained the issue to him.” In addition, he drove me out in his vehicle to the dumpsite, where they are now building on a ditch. In a 2013 interview with the Guardian, Howells claimed, “It’s roughly the size of a football field, and he indicated something from three or four months ago would be around three or four feet below.” “It’s either laugh about it or cry over it at this point.” Why am I not digging with a shovel right now? I suppose I’m simply accepting the fact that I’ll never find it.”
Howells almost resigned to the notion that his riches would never be claimed after that talk. However, he immediately began his own search and was hopeful that the drive is still accessible and readable in its potentially damaging form. In a final effort, he has now enlisted the help of citizens in his hometown, promising millions of dollars if the search is successful.
The odds are stacked against him, made much more difficult by the Newport council’s unwillingness to allow any volunteers inside the site. The council will not allow anybody to investigate the mounds, citing the environmental harm that sifting through buried trash would create, the absence of permission to search the trash, and the mere doubt that the hard drive even exists, according to CNBC. Unfortunately, if Howells is unable to locate the drive, the Bitcoin will be gone forever.
Bitcoin, like another crypto, is untraceable, and in the early days of mining, you could not back up your wallet. This has resulted in disastrous instances when people lose the actual disk with the cryptocurrency, as if Howells did, or forget their password, as with the man who just has a few guesses left before being shut out of a $240 million Bitcoin windfall.