A man has shared his grief after he unknowingly threw out a portable hard drive seven years ago which is now worth $ million. Campbell Simpson, editor of technology website Gizmodo Australia. Dec 21, · Posted Dec 21, AM CST (Newser) – When covering the story four years ago, Newser's headline read, "$M Bitcoin Fortune Buried in Landfill." That fortune . Nov 30, · A sudden event is one that is swift, not gradual or progressive (throwing out the hard drive was certainly swift). An unexpected event is one that is Author: Kelly Phillips Erb.
Bitcoin trash hard driveMan throws out Bitcoin hard drive now worth $billion | Daily Mail Online
James Howells, an IT worker living in the United Kingdom, knows exactly where his misplaced 7, bitcoins are but the city council where he lives won't let him retrieve them. They say it's against the law. According to a report published in The Telegraph , Howells began mining bitcoin on his personal laptop in In , though, "after I had stopped mining, the laptop I had used was broken into parts and sold on eBay," Howells tells The Telegraph.
He kept the drive he used to collect the bitcoins, "so if bitcoin did become valuable one day, I would still have the coins I mined. But, while cleaning his home in , he mistakenly put it into a waste bin at his local landfill site in Newport, South Wales, where it got buried. More than four years' worth of garbage have poured into the dump since his mistake, which would make any recovery effort a significant undertaking.
In an interview with tech website Wired , a council spokesperson said their offices have been "contacted in the past about the possibility of retrieving a piece of IT hardware said to contain bitcoins," but digging up, storing and treating the waste could cause a "huge environmental impact on the surrounding area. The landfill reportedly contains about , tons of waste and 50, more tons are added every year. Even if the drive is recovered, it may not work after being exposed to weighty and possibly toxic waste for so long.
Plus, the operation, which could require specialty-construction vehicles, might cost millions. And while Howells has the "financial backing in place" to fund such an effort, according to Wired, he needs permission: The landfill is not open to the public and trespassing would be considered a criminal offense. Cloud-based services now help prevent physically losing hardware where bitcoins are stored, but there are still a few reasons to be wary of cryptocurrencies: Some experts fear it could be outlawed , note it's hard to value accurately and say buying it is more gambling than investing.
Still, many believe the positives outweigh the negatives. Some of the most prominent thefts have been those that have taken place in plain sight: some hacks even blatantly reroute tokens bound for one wallet for another. The victims watch as their tokens are stolen away from them, with nothing they can do about it.
Just the way we keep cash or cards in a physical wallet, bitcoins are also stored in a wallet—a digital wallet. The digital wallet can be hardware-based or web-based. The wallet can also reside on a mobile device, on a computer desktop, or kept safe by printing the private keys and addresses used for access on paper. But how safe are any of these digital wallets? The answer to this depends on how the user manages the wallet. Every wallet contains a set of private keys without which the bitcoin owner cannot access the currency.
The biggest danger in bitcoin security is the individual user perhaps losing the private key or having the private key stolen. Without the private key, the user will never see her bitcoins again. Besides losing the private key, a user can also lose her bitcoin by computer malfunctions crashing a hard drive , by hacking, or by physically losing a computer where the digital wallet resides.
Below, we'll take a look at some of the best ways to store bitcoin safely. Desktop wallets are those that are not connected to the Internet; they are also referred to as "cold storage" methods. A desktop wallet offers a number of advantages over an online wallet. While online wallets are easily accessed from anywhere in the world, they are also more vulnerable to potential hacking.
Desktop wallets, on the other hand, are accessed only via your private computer, with personal security keys stored just on that machine. Thus, exposure of your security key online is dramatically reduced. Nonetheless, desktop wallets are still susceptible to hacks if your machine gets infected with malware designed to root out keys and steal Bitcoins.
More secure than a desktop wallet is a hardware wallet. These wallets are bits of hardware, external devices like USB sticks which you can carry around on your person. An added benefit of a hardware wallet is the complete anonymity with which you can transact. There is no personal information linked to the hardware, so no identifying data which could be leaked. Hardware wallets are resilient to malware, and if you happen to lose the wallet you'll be able to recover the funds using a seed phrase.
On the other hand, if you lose the hardware wallet, there is no other way of recovering your bitcoin. A paper wallet is also a relatively safe way of storing Bitcoin, although it requires a bit more advanced understanding of how digital currencies work. Generate a paper wallet online using any number of dedicated websites, or generate the wallet offline for even greater security. Paper wallets are stored easily because they don't take up a great deal of space, and they also offer true anonymity: they are simply a Bitcoin seed written in some way on a piece of paper.
Services are cropping up which allow Bitcoin investors to buy physical Bitcoins. The coin you purchase will have a tamper-proof sticker covering a predetermined amount of Bitcoin.
In order to purchase the physical coin, you may need to pay a slight premium over the value of the Bitcoin that you're buying, owing to the cost of the manufacture and shipment of the coin itself. Backup your entire bitcoin wallet early and often. Make sure to backup all the wallet. Not only this, set a strong password on the backup. Keep your software up to date. A wallet running on non-updated bitcoin software can be a soft target for hackers.
The latest version of wallet software will have a better security system in place thereby increasing the safety of your bitcoins.