It is always important to remember the private keys, save them in a very safe place, but… do not forget about it. James Howells, an early Bitcoin miner, threw away a hard drive with a private key to his wallet where he had over 7500 BTC.

Bitcoin Enthusiast ‘Threw Away’ His Private Keys

When Bitcoin was just spreading back in 2009, individuals that were able to mine Bitcoin would now be millionaires. Mr. Howells, an Australian bitcoin enthusiast, threw away a hard drive with the private key to his bitcoin wallet.

“I mined more than 7500 coins over one week’s time in 2009; there were just six of us doing it at the time, and it was like the early days of a gold rush,” commented the cryptocurrency investor. “Four years later, I had two hard drives in a desk drawer. One was empty and the other contained my bitcoin private keys. I meant to throw away the empty drive – and I accidentally threw away the one with the bitcoin information.”

Of course, without the private key is not possible to access these bitcoins, that are now lost. There are an estimated of three million bitcoins that would be worth $21 billion dollars at current prices, or over $50 billion at Bitcoin’s all time high in December.

Brian Stoeckert, a legal consultant in the crypto field explained:

“People put them on laptops, storage drivers, USBs. Lose one of them without having it backed up, and you are out of luck.”

Howells was very angry about the situation when he realized that he threw away. He tried to recover it by calling the landfill, but… they were just laughing at him.

Losing Bitcoins

It is always very important to have the seed backed up and the information of your wallet safe. All the safe of a family – which is not recommended – can be stored in a hardware wallet, USB or any other similar device.

Satoshi Nakamoto is supposed to have an important amount of Bitcoin in his possession. Apparently, he has over 1 million coins mined, but that he was never able to move. There were some attempts to move these Bitcoins but it is not easy to do it – if not impossible.

A Bitcoin hard fork known as United Bitcoin aimed to move the funds from inactive wallets to the the UB Foundation.