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How 7,500 BTC ended up in the trash

In the world of crypto, some people win, and some others lose.

smartcan trash garbage can on street
Image: Unsplash

What would you do if back in 2010 you had earned at least 10 Bitcoin, forgot about it, and found them in your hard drive again today? You would probably be jumping and crying out of happiness. 

Now, imagine that you ended up throwing that hard drive into the trash; you would probably be extremely mad at yourself. Believe it or not, this is something that has happened to multiple people who underestimated the power that Bitcoin would earn over the years.

One of them was Stephan Thomas, who got paid in BTC more than 10 years ago, and now he can’t remember his password.

Something similar happened to James Howells, but a hundred times worse. Keep reading and find out how he threw 7,500 BTC into the trash in 2013.

What Happened?

James Howells is a software engineer from Newport who mined 7,500 BTC when no one else was interested in cryptocurrencies.

Sadly, the hard drive that contained all this money ended up in his trash in 2013. Since then, he’s been searching for it, but the government wouldn’t let him dig in the local dumpster, as it would cause environmental damages.

Howells has tried everything in his power to recover the BTC. He has asked for help from engineers, ecologists, and all kinds of experts, even tried to get NASA involved, but nothing has worked yet.

When the search first started, the trash in the dumpster covered more than 15 football fields. Nonetheless, it would have been doable to locate the zone where the hard drive would have been. Even then, Howells couldn’t get the necessary permits to do it.

Howells realized his mistake when the price of BTC jumped from $150 to $1,000 in 2013, and his wallet would have been worth $6,000,000. He even offered to donate 25% of his earnings to the state to be distributed among citizens if he could find it.

James even created a whole plan to make sure he could find his hard drive among all the trash. The first step is doing a viability study that would last three months; this is meant to analyze how much time it is going to take to find the hard drive. Some manual calculations estimate that it would take nine to 12 months, even with AI technology.

It is believed that the hard drive is in a 650 square feet area, and it could be hidden around 50 feet deep in the trash. The total cost of the search could go up to millions of dollars, and it is essential to consider that there’s no guarantee of finding it or that it is still working.

State authorities have no interest in approving Howells’ petition, as the people in charge of the project ensure that it would take a massive toll on the city’s environment. This means that for now, the 7,500 BTC are going to remain lost in Newport’s dumpster, and they may probably be there forever.

Bottom Line

In the world of crypto, some people win, and some others lose. James Howells had the terrible luck of being the one who lost this time. Hopefully, someday he may get the permits he needs to begin his search and get his money back.

However, unless you have a hidden hard drive with BTC in the back of your closet, if you want to begin building your crypto portfolio, you’re going to have to learn how to trade. Don’t keep searching how, because we’ve got the solution for you.

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