Man's £4m bitcoin fortune lost in rubbish dump

James Howells threw away the hard disk containing the bitcoin this summer. Credit: Athena Picture Agency

An IT worker is hunting for a £4 million-plus digital fortune he mistakenly threw out with the rubbish.

James Howells, 28, would be a bitcoin multimillionaire if he could lay his hands on the computer hard drive containing his fortune.

But the digital cash is lost in a mountainous landfill site in Newport, south Wales where bin men took it after it was accidentially thrown away during a clear-out.

ITV News Midlands Correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports.

Howells generated 7,500 of the previously worthless electronic bitcoins on a website from 2009, but that amount of the virtual currency is now valued at around £4.6 million. He told BBC Wales online:

Bitcoins have radically increased in value due to the original website's popularity and the fact companies around the world increasingly accept them as payment.

But Howells said he does not have the means to undertake a potentially arduous and expensive search for his fortune, explaining:

Officials at the dump have warned people they will not be given access to search for the buried treasure.