The man who wants to dig a landfill to find a hard drive with a bitcoin fortune

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Almost 10 years ago, James Howells dropped a hard drive while cleaning and forgot the bitcoins on it.

Now that the estimated value of what’s inside is $ 184 million, Howells plans to spend millions digging into a landfill in Newport, UK, trying to find the missing hard drive.

When he picks it up he says donate 10% of the profit to turn the city into a cryptocurrency hub.

But local authorities have already said that digging in the landfill poses an ecological risk.

Howells, computer engineer, Accidentally crashed hard drive in 2013 after 8,000 bitcoins were mined at the start of the coin’s development.

Bitcoin’s value fluctuates enormously. For example, the value of what Howells had was around $ 250 million in January 2021, but with the steep decline earlier this year, it is now significantly lower.

The Newport City Council, which operates the landfill Howells believes the reader is in, has consistently denied him access to the excavation site for environmental and access reasons.

To restore the hard drive It would take a huge manual excavation to remove thousands of tons of compacted debris that has accumulated on the site for decades.

But the IT engineer believes he has the tools and knowledge to do it efficiently and environmentally for the site.

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“The excavation of a landfill is a big operation in itself,” he said.

“The funding is secure and we have hired an artificial intelligence specialist. Their technology can be easily trained to look for a hard drive.” Howells has a whole plan and team in place to save his hard drive

But that’s not all: “We also have an environmental team on board. We have a full team of different expertswith different abilities and that, by joining forces, we can accomplish this task at a very high level. ”

“significant ecological risk”

However, finding the hard drive is only part of this monumental task. no guarantee which, if found, his condition is curable.

But in that case, its owner is more than willing to receive a mega sum of money, although the actual amount depends on the direction of the highly volatile cryptocurrency.

Either way, it’s probably several million dollars. Source: GETTY IMAGES Cryptocurrency value has fluctuated wildly, but if he takes the hard drive, the engineer could have millions of them

We have to subtract what Howells promised to give back to the community, 10% of the profits. And he already has in mind how to invest them: “We have a complete list of initiatives,” he added.

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“One of the things we want to do in the current landfill after we have cleared and reclaimed this land is a Power plant, perhaps a few pinwheels. We also want to put one on Community bitcoin mining facility and use that clean energy from the turbines to create a cryptocurrency for the people of Newport, “he explained.

Among his many projects there is also the proposal of Give around $ 60 in bitcoin to each person of Newport and install cryptocurrency-based terminals in all stores.

But authorities responded to Howell’s every request with a denial.

“We have legal obligations that we have to comply with when managing the landfill,” said a spokesperson. “Part of this is environmental risk management for the site and surrounding areas. Howells’ proposals represent a significant environmental risk We do not accept and which are not even taken into consideration for the provisions of the landfill management permit “.

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