It belonged to James Howells, who threw it out when he was clearing up his desk in mid-summer and discovered the part, rescued from a defunct Dell laptop. He found it in a drawer and put it in a bin.
And then last Friday he realised that it held a digital wallet with 7,500 Bitcoins created for almost nothing in 2009 – and then worth about the same.
“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,” Howells, who works in IT, told the Guardian. “I don’t have an exact date, the only time period I can give – and I’ve been racking my own brains – is between 20 June and 10 August. Probably mid-July”. At the time he obliviously threw them away, the 7,500 Bitcoins on the hard-drive were worth around £500,000. Since then, the cryptocurrency’s value has soared, passing $1,000 on Wednesday afternoon.