(CNN)A British man who accidentally threw a hard drive loaded with bitcoin into the trash has offered the local authority where he lives more than $70 million if it allows him to excavate a landfill site.
Man who accidentally threw out a bitcoin fortune offers $70 million for permission to dig it up
IT worker James Howells got rid of the drive, which held a digital store of 7,500 bitcoins, between June and August in 2013. He had originally mined the virtual currency four years earlier when it was of little value.
But when the cryptocurrency shot up in value and he went in search of it, he discovered that he had mistakenly thrown the hard drive out with the trash.
Now, with his lost bitcoin having soared even further, Howells has approached Newport City Council in Wales to ask for permission to dig a specific section of the landfill site where he believes the hard drive ended up.
In return, he has offered to pay the council a quarter of the current value of the hoard, which he says could be distributed to local residents.
The digital currency was created in 2009 by an anonymous computer programmer or group of programmers known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoins are essentially computer files that are stored in a "digital wallet" on your device. They can then be used as payment, with every transaction being recorded in a public list known as blockchain.
The price of bitcoin hit an all-time high in recent days and is now trading around $37,000.
Howells first discovered that the hard dri