Like many I was a little confused with the recent rise to prominence of the Bitcoin. Virgin Galactic are said to accept the Bitcoin as payment for a trip to space. However one man who may not be going or certainly not paying via Bitcoin is James Howells.
If you’ve noticed a sudden influx of people descending upon South Wales armed with metal detectors then the answer might be that they are trying to find the hard drive to Mr Howells’ computer.
Well Mr Howells was astute enough to be an early adopter of the Bitcoin. He began to ‘mine’ for the crypto-currency in 2009. Unlike today they were originally worthless. Today his 7,500 Bitcoins are said to be worth £4 million!!
They were stored on a hard drive from an abandoned computer. The computer had long since been binned however sometime during the summer he found the hard drive in his desk and thinking that all of the material had been backed up decided to also part with it.
We’ve all made the mistake of not backing up files. It is something our IT team here at Comms are always keen that we do. So it may come as a little surprising to read Mr Howells area of expertise is IT!
It is believed that the said hard drive is currently hidden at the Docksway landfill site in Newport, some four feet under foul smelling debris.
So what exactly are Bitcoins?
Honestly? I’m not exactly sure! They sit within a virtual wallet and can only be opened with a ‘private key’. Their value depends totally on investor confidence. They are ‘mined’ by running very complex algorithms. Wikipedia seem to have a handle on it if you want more information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitcoins
Interestingly unlike traditional forms of currencies Bitcoins are issued without any central governmental control or authority. So in theory you effectively own your own bank and consequently are less volatile.
Try telling that to James Howells! He appears to be quite clam about his predicament and resigned to the fact that he’ll never find them telling the national press that, "I'm at the point where it's either laugh about it or cry about it,"
I suggest laughing, it’s better for the health!
Until next timeSteve Wilkin