Bitcoin prices continues to surpass expectations and is now hovering around £8,588 ($11,550) each.
However, imagine having thousands of the cryptocurrencies sitting in a special spot for this exact time – when Bitcoin is booming.
Well, Welshman James Howells did that way before the payment system was cool. He began mining for the virtual currency in 2009 with his powerful laptop and, impressively, amassed a whopping 7,500 Bitcoins.
In today’s terms, that would equate to around £64.4 million ($86.7 million).
32-year-old James cashed in his hard-earned Bitcoins and purchased an island in the Caribbean, he ran into a bit of a problem.
The hard drive where those precious coins were stored was thrown out.
James has told the Telegraph: “In mid-2013 during a clear-out, the hard drive – then worth a few hundred thousand pounds – was mistakenly thrown out and put into a general waste bin at my local landfill site, after which it was buried on site.
“Accidents happen. I just get on with it. I’ve always known Bitcoin would go this high and I’ve always known the value of the hard drive would go up.”
But now that the currency has exploded, James is requesting permission to dig through the trash to see if he can find his beloved hard drive.
He added: “The higher the value goes, the more chance I have to recover it so it’s just been a waiting game for the past few years – waiting until the bitcoin price was high enough to make the drive a juicy enough treasure to hunt.”
Mining bitcoins is an incredibly intense operation and requires a computer with a huge processing power. The difficulty increases every two weeks or so to ensure it takes a user roughly 10 minutes to create a block – which is a set of new transactions.
But for each block to be accepted by the network, the computer has to provide what’s called ‘proof of work’, which is kind of like having to show how you got your answer in your maths homework. To get the proof of work you have to get a specific number.
To put it in perspective of how hard this is, in March 2015, the average number of that specific number a miner had to try before a new block was created was 200.5 quintillion – that’s 200,500,000,000,000,000,000.