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Joined Nov 10, 2007
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Man Who Threw Away Over $125 Million Worth of Bitcoins is Denied Access to Garbage Dump

Do we feel bad for someone who errantly tossed away 7,500 Bitcoins whilst doing some general cleaning in his house? No, of course not — how stupid can you be?

James Howells used to mine Bitcoins on his personal laptop in 2009 and then sold said laptop, like a retard, keeping the hard drive at home in the event Bitcoin ever went up in value. Well, they did. But, sadly, while doing some cleaning up around the abode, fucked face tossed out his hard drive.

Who does such things?

Now with his 7,500 BTC worth in excess of $125 million, he wants to dig through trash and has the finally backing to undertake a very expensive and environmentally challenging ordeal. My guess, he struck a bargain with some venture capital retard who’s willing to finance the gambit.

UK officials have told him to fuck off.

But, while cleaning his home in 2013, he mistakenly put it into a waste bin at his local landfill site in Newport, South Wales, where it got buried.

Now, with bitcoin’s value hovering just above $17,000 Wednesday, according to digital-currency website CoinDesk, Howells’ 7,500 lost bitcoins are worth more than $127 million. CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index tracks prices from digital currency exchanges Bitfinex, Bitstamp, Coinbase and itBit.

More than four years’ worth of garbage have poured into the dump since his mistake, which would make any recovery effort a significant undertaking. “A modern landfill is a complex engineering project and digging one up brings up all sorts of environmental issues, such as dangerous gasses and potential landfill fires,” Howells says. “It’s a big, expensive and risky project.”

He wants to try, regardless, but the Newport City Council won’t allow it.

In an interview with tech website Wired, a council spokesperson said their offices have been “contacted in the past about the possibility of retrieving a piece of IT hardware said to contain bitcoins,” but digging up, storing and treating the waste could cause a “huge environmental impact on the surrounding area.”

The landfill reportedly contains about 350,000 tons of waste and 50,000 more tons are added every year.

“It is likely that the hardware would have suffered significant galvanic corrosion due to the presence of landfill leachates and gases,” officials pointed out. Even if the drive is recovered, it may not work after being exposed to weighty and possibly toxic waste for so long.

Plus, the operation, which could require specialty-construction vehicles, might cost millions. And while Howells has the “financial backing in place” to fund such an effort, according to Wired, he needs permission: The landfill is not open to the public and trespassing would be considered a criminal offense.

The fact that files containing bitcoin can be lost is one reason to perhaps be wary of cryptocurrencies. There are other causes for concern as well: Some experts fear it could be outlawed, note it’s hard to value accurately and say buying it is more gambling than investing.

Still, many believe the positives outweigh the negatives. Even Howells still tracks bitcoin’s price, he tells Wired, “but that’s not because I’m obsessed with the price because of my lost coins. I have multiple tickers running with prices in different fiat currencies,” not just in bitcoin.

And if Howells does recover his bitcoins, he’ll probably cash some in. “Who knows for sure?” he says. “I probably would have sold 30 or 40 percent in 2013 to invest in property and other cryptocurrencies.”

With the value of bitcoin continuing to rise, some speculate that eventually Howells’ lost coins will be worth a fortune and the city council will be obligated to allow a search.

“And obviously,” Howells says, “they would get a nice percentage as a gift or donation.”

Could you imagine being him right now?

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6 comments

  1. J Adabese (your pen pal)
    J Adabese (your pen pal)

    Funny, the guy in the picture looks just like that Jim Rickards guy @JamesGRickards

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  2. Angel of Death

    He won the lottery and then threw the ticket away, basically.

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  3. dan dangerdance

    Watch the Obituaries. He will eventually die from shooting off his own kneecaps.

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  4. sarcrilege

    Looking for a needle in a hayrick, eh?

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  5. metalleg

    Would be funny if he made up the entire story knowing that he would be denied just so the local sanitation chief can now spend his time and resources trying to dig up a non-existent $125 million in BTC.

    Unfortunately for him, it doesn’t seem like he made it up.

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  6. Marc David

    By the time he finds it.. BTC will be worth about .005 anyway

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