British man James Howells would be a bitcoin multimillionaire after the price of the digital currency zoomed through $1,000 U.S. but he threw away his hard drive and it is now somewhere in a Welsh landfill site.
NEWPORT, WALES, UK (NOVEMBER 28, 2013) (ITN) - A man who threw away his computer hard drive containing £4 million in bitcoins on Thursday (November 28) searched a landfill site in Wales after the price of the digital currency soared above $1,000 U.S.
Howells threw away the computer a few months ago after spilling a drink on it but realised his mistake when he began to read about the soaring price of bitcoins.
"That moment was devastating, I was in front of my computer, the drawer where the drive was kept was only a few yards away and the first thing I did was move to that drawer, and look, even though I knew it wasn't there, it was still the first thing I did," he said.
"From the very first time I come across bitcoin I knew it was going to be a good investment and I knew it was going to be the next big thing. I mean, devastating really. What else can I say?" he added.
Bitcoin zoomed past $1,000 U.S. on Wednesday (November 27), extending a 400 percent surge in less than a month that some see as a growing bubble in an asset that is still a mystery to many.
Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day, every day. The supply of the currency, which is "mined" by solving math problems, is limited, and recently stood at 12 million bitcoins, worth about $12.9 billion at recent prices.
Bitcoin is not backed by physical assets and is not run by any person or group. Its value depends on people's confidence in the currency. It has been gaining acceptance by the general public and investment community but has yet to become an accepted form of payment on the websites of major retailers such as Amazon.com.