While there are millions of people cashing in on the Bitcoin boom, there’s one man who is sorely missing out.
In an online exclusive, 60 Minutes speak to James Howells, an IT worker from Newport in Wales who threw it all away – literally.
In 2009, Mr Howells purchased 7500 Bitcoins for next to nothing. He stored the stash on his computer’s hard drive.
Days became months, and Mr Howells soon forgot about his cryptocurrency stash.
After spilling a drink over his computer, Mr Howells mindlessly put the hard drive – and with it his 7500 Bitcoins – in the bin.
It wasn’t until the recent Bitcoin boom that Howells began to fathom his costly blunder.
With the price of Bitcoin skyrocketing in today’s economy, Mr Howells’ Bitcoin stash is estimated to be worth over $90 million.
“It’s pretty devastating,” Mr Howells told 60 Minutes.
“It’s like losing a winning lottery ticket.”
But Mr Howells is an optimist and believes he may be able to turn this situation around.
“The only added advantage is that I’ve actually got a chance to get this back,” Mr Howells said.
“If you’d lost a lottery ticket you would never get it back.”
Today Mr Howells is seeking investors to help him purchase and excavate his local tip in an attempt to salvage his unimaginable fortune.
It’s definitely a needle in a haystack, but needles can be found,” Mr Howells said.
While sifting through tons of rubbish to find a discarded hard drive seems utterly insane, Howells is determined to at least try to find his buried treasure.
“I could go back to work for the rest of my life but then I would always be thinking about it,” Mr Howells said.
“At least if I give it a shot, then it’s checked, the box is checked, I tried.”