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November 28, 2013

£4m in Bitcoin buried in landfill site

A digital wallet containing 7,500 Bitcoins was dumped below four feet of debris at a recycling plant in south Wales.

By CBR Staff Writer

A hard drive containing 7,500 Bitcoins worth more than £4m is believed to be dumped below four feet of debris at Newport landfill site in Wales.

James Howells said he threw away the hard drive several months ago when cleaning his desk, together with a Dell laptop from which the Bitcoins were generated.

Last Friday, Howells realised that the hard drive included a digital wallet with 7,500 Bitcoins produced for almost nothing four years ago.

"I don’t have an exact date, the only time period I can give – and I’ve been racking my own brains – is between 20 June and 10 August. Probably mid-July," Howells said.

"You know when you put something in the bin, and in your head, say to yourself ‘that’s a bad idea’? I really did have that.

"I had a word with one of the guys down there, explained the situation. And he actually took me out in his truck to where the landfill site is, the current ditch they’re working on.

"It’s about the size of a football field, and he said something from three or four months ago would be about three or four feet down."

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Once Bitcoins get mined, they can be spent as virtual currency online via several retailers, who sell products ranging from computer components, to cosmetics and pizzas.

The currency has been gaining traction in the real world, too, with Virgin planning to accept the currency for its Virgin Galactic flights.

Several exchange websites have also been established to store Bitcoins and they can even be purchased for US dollars or other currencies.

Recently, the value of Bitcoin leaped over 40% to a new high of $750 (£489) in the wake of a Senate hearing that heard the digital currency could be a ‘legitimate financial service’.

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