- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Anyone who’s up for a modern treasure hunt simply needs to head to south Wales.

James Howells claims he threw out his computer months ago with 7,500 bitcoins stored on it. Translation: He’s out roughly $6.5 million unless he’s willing to dig through four months worth of garbage at a nearby recycling center.

“You know when you put something in the bin, and in your head, say to yourself ‘that’s a bad idea’? I really did have that,” he told The Guardian. “I had a word with one of the guys down there, explained the situation. And he actually took me out in his truck to where the landfill site is, the current ditch they’re working on. … It’s about the size of a football field, and he said something from three or four months ago would be about three or four feet down.”

Bitcoins are a virtual currency that is awarded to users whose computers can solve complex equations. The currency also can be bought or sold. Mr. Howells threw his computer out when the currency was, for all intents and purposes, worthless.

“I’m at the point where it’s either laugh about it or cry about it. Why aren’t I out there with a shovel now? I think I’m just resigned to never being able to find it,” he told The Guardian.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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