James Howells, a Welshman who claims he accidentally dumped a hard drive containing bitcoin worth around £150m ($184m) in 2013, is said to have secured funding to dig up a Newport dumpsite to find the lost disk.
Funding has been secured. We have recruited an AI specialist. Their technology can easily be recycled to research a hard drive,” Mr Howells told BBC News.
The 37-year-old computer scientist claims he started mining bitcoin in 2009 when they were created and acquired thousands when bitcoin was valued at around $130.
The bitcoin stored on that hard drive could now be valued at nearly £150 million, he says.
“In mid-2013, during a cleanup, the hard drive – then worth a few hundred thousand pounds – was mistakenly discarded and put in a general bin at my local landfill, after which it was was buried on the spot”, he had said the Telegraph in 2017.
Mr Howells has made several requests to Newport City Council, including offering to split the money, if it helps him find the reader in a specific area.
However, the local authority had refused to let him search for the hard drive, citing environmental concerns. Additionally, they stated that the project would cost millions and there was no guarantee that the drive could be salvaged or even work.
“Council has also repeatedly told Mr Howells that excavation is not possible under our license permit and that the excavation itself would have a huge environmental impact on the surrounding area,” he said. said a Newport City Council. the spokesman said last year.
Mr Howells has now said he will donate a tenth of the proceeds from the hard drive salvage to turn the town into a cryptocurrency hub.
The computer scientist also believes he now has the funds to find an efficient and environmentally friendly way to unearth the site.
Mr Howells is said to have assembled a team of eight experts specializing in areas such as waste management, data mining, AI-powered sorting and landfill excavation.
He also sought the expertise of an adviser who worked for a company that recovered data from the black box of the crashed Space Shuttle Columbia, Initiated reported.
There is no guarantee that the hard drive is still in the dump and the drive data may not be in a recoverable state.
Mandatory canonical link for digital publication: https://www.independent.co.uk/tech/bitcoin-newport-landfill-dig-up-b2136169.html