We all make mistakes. But some can haunt us all our lives. This is probably the case of this British computer scientist, who literally threw a fortune in the trash.
The outbreak of bitcoin has created a media craze around cryptocurrency. In a few years, the price of the latter has literally exploded to about $ 11,000 per unit today. Suffice to say that those who invested at the time have made a great added value. This was the case of James Howells, a Welsh computer scientist who was one of the first to believe in the benefits of this means of payment.
He started mining Bitcoins until he accumulated 7500 units. Visibly annoyed by the noise of the mining, which requires equipment and consumes a lot of energy, his girlfriend would have pushed him to stop. Howells has therefore sold his equipment on eBay, while keeping his hard drive containing his new digital wallet. He would have spent three years in a drawer before being inadvertently thrown into garbage. An error far from trivial, the price of bitcoins already worth about $ 130, which is still equivalent to $ 975,000.
The end of 2013 sees the course of bitcoin climb as fast as the regrets of the British. The hard drive he threw is already worth several million dollars. The rest of the story is well known and cryptocurrency is still gaining momentum. Its 7,500 bitcoins are worth $ 88 million today, or € 74 million.
Howells has therefore made a decision that seems very late. He intends to search his hard drive in the dump where he is supposed to be buried. In addition to the magnitude of the task, it must be well equipped since this type of waste can release toxic gases in large quantities. But that's not all. Even if he finds it, which would be a miracle, it will be necessary that the latter is still functional.
"It's a costly and risky project" he told the Independent newspaper. In the meantime, the clock is ticking and prices change very quickly.
To reassure himself (a little), he can reread the post of Laszlo Hanyecz, a developer who had made the first transaction of bitcoins against a good in the real world. He had paid 10,000 bitcoins … For two extra large pizzas at $ 25. Currently, his hearty meal would have cost him $ 113 million.