Bitcoin: Newport man’s plea to find £210m hard drive in tip

Publishedduration46 minutes agoshareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingimage copyrightJames Howellsimage captionJames Howells threw away the hard drive, now worth about £210m, more than seven years ago

A man who threw away a laptop hard drive containing bitcoin he believes is now worth about £210m wants his council to let him search for it in landfill.

James Howells had 7,500 bitcoins, a virtual currency, on the hard drive, which he mistakenly threw away in 2013.

He said he was willing to donate 25% of the value of the bitcoins to his home city of Newport in south Wales – about £52.5m – if he found the hard drive.

Newport council said excavation was not possible under its licensing permit.

Mr Howells said if he was to recover the hard drive, he would want the money to be put into a "Covid relief fund" for people in Newport to use "no questions asked".

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"Imagine how great it would be to say 'I've given everyone in the city a few hundred pounds'," he told the BBC.

Mr Howells bought the bitcoins for almost nothing in 2009, but the hard drive ended up in a drawer after he spilled a drink on his laptop.

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