The story of the 7,500 lost Bitcoins

Conventional wisdom suggests real estate and property is a sound investment. Not so conventional is a rubbish tip in South Wales increasing so fast in value, that it could become worth more than a Mayfair Mansion or Caribbean Island! How so?

7500 Lost Bitcoins

This is the story of an early bitcoin miner who accrued 7,500 bitcoin on his laptop in the summer of 2010. These were the early days of bitcoin, when bitcoin was worth next to nothing and the mining of bitcoin could be done by home computer (unlike the industrial scale computing power required today).

An IT worker named James Howells was an early believer in bitcoin. He knew the internet had Google and Facebook, but didn’t have its own money. So James started mining for around a week and accrued the bitcoin as a result.

Eventually Mr Howells’ girlfriend complained about the noise the computer was making, as the mining process becomes increasingly energy intensive. The mining was stopped as a result and James forgot about the bitcoin. The laptop subsequently had a drink spilt on it and was dismantled for parts. James kept the hard drive but a few years later threw it away as part of a clear out.

It wasn’t until the price of bitcoin began to make the news that James remembered what was on the hard drive (now buried somewhere in a land fill site in Newport, South Wales).

Trips have been made to the site to try and retrieve the item, without luck; and the search of a rubbish dump the size of a football field is too daunting to continue. The hard drive contains the private key, which is the cryptographic key to unlock the bitcoin. Without this, the bitcoin is lost.

Who knows? If the hard drive isn’t found and the value of bitcoin keeps rising, then the rubbish dump could eventually find itself a space on the Monopoly Board!
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