Imagine you had a hard drive with 7,500 Bitcoins that you bought for a bargain. You forgot about it, continued with your life and soon came to the realization that you don’t know where it is. Well, that is what happened to James Howells back in 2013 – and how he made headlines when the story of his missing hard drive was published.
Howells was an early visionary and a Bitcoiner who knew that there is something special about this digital currency. Instead of buying, Howells mined 7,500 Bitcoins back in 2009 by solving some mathematical puzzles with his laptop. Those were the times when the cryptocurrency was still easily mineable.
As the article in the Guardian says, Howells mined the Bitcoins on his Dell laptop and stopped because his girlfriend companied that the mining made the laptop noisy and hot. In 2010, Howells spilled lemonade on the laptop and dismantled it for parts. The hard drive where the 7,500 Bitcoins were stored went to a drawer and stayed there for three years, before he sold it.
It is amazing how Howells completely forgot about Bitcoin and cleared out his old IT equipment. He didn’t even remember the hard drive has money on it and just threw it away. Even though he says that he got some bad feeling about it, throwing the hard disk in the bin is certainly one of the biggest mistakes in his life.
The 7,500 BTC found in his hard drive at the time of his clear out were worth around $600k. The time when the story made headlines, his hard drive was worth $5 million. Now, the price is even higher – and the 7,500 BTC are equal to $72 million.
Howells was told that even a scenario where the police goes digging requires big teams of diggers with mandatory personal protection equipment – something that he cannot fund. What Howells did is set up a wallet for donations in order to make this mission a reality.
Let’s just hope that Howells (and his backers) are going to find that missing drive – even though the odds for that are very, very slim!
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