Probably the best known story in the Bitcoin world was the purchase of two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins in 2010 by Laszlo. The second is that of British James Howells who accidentally lost access to 7,500 bitcoins when he threw his hard drive (HD) in the trash in 2013.
Since then Howells has been trying to recover this hard drive that contains billions of dollars in Bitcoin. His hunt intensified again this month after Howells hired NASA experts to assist him, as reported by The Sun.
This amount had been mined since 2009, the year the BTC was launched. showing your passion for Bitcoin. Despite this, Howells had not backed up his private keys to another location, which was his only way of accessing these 7,500 BTC.
Fortune thrown in the trash
Today the 7,500 Howells bitcoins are valued at more than 2 billion reais, having valued about 1,000 times against the Real, when compared to the date of the event, in mid-2013. In fact, it was already a good amount at that time, more 2 million reais.
After eight years, Howells’ problems only increase as his hard drive may be partially or totally damaged due to environmental conditions. Because of that, he even hired a company linked to NASA to know the possibility of recovering the data, if the HD is found.
“I spoke with data recovery experts who worked with NASA on the Columbia space shuttle disaster. They were able to recover from a space shuttle that exploded and they don’t seem to think being in a landfill will be a problem.”
In addition, Howells, who has seen the BTC go through three big bullish cycles, is also confident its price will continue to rise, putting even more pressure to retrieve its private keys.
“The current valuation is £342 million, but about a week ago it was at its peak of £420 million. That’s a lot of Bitcoin lying on the ground and I have no doubt that next year [essa quantia] will be worth £550 million, £600 million or even £700 million.”
not everyone wants to help
According to Howells, board members for the city of Newport, located in Wales where the HD is located, are not interested in helping him in this quest due to operating costs and other environmental concerns.
Seeking permission to excavate the site since 2014, the Briton has already offered a good part of his bitcoins, if he can find it. Likewise, talks with Ontrack are yet another attempt to press this decision, as there is a good chance that HD content will be recoverable, if found.
Finally, what we can take away from this story is the need for good security practices, backing up your private keys to other secure locations, preferably offline.