IT expert who accidentally threw his £153m Bitcoin fortune in the bin is barred from searching for the hard drive at his local landfill

IT expert who accidentally threw his £153m Bitcoin fortune in the bin is barred from searching for the hard drive at his local landfill

For a man whose wealth has, at times, outstripped that of the Queen, James Howells lives a remarkably modest life, sharing a terrace house on a busy main road in Newport, South Wales, with his labrador Ruby.

Decorated in classic bachelor-pad style — all blacks, whites and greys — the front room is dominated by a large computer monitor and its screen-saver gives a clue as to why James is not enjoying quite the champagne lifestyle you might expect.

It features the logo for Bitcoin, the virtual currency in which James has holdings of 8,000 coins. At their peak in November last year, they were worth £55,000 each, making his hoard worth £440 million.

Bitcoin has since slumped but even at today’s lower prices, it’s worth almost £153 million.

But there is just one problem: nine years ago he accidentally threw away the 51-digit passcode and without it he will never be able to access any of them.

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