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James Howells

British Man James Howells Halts His 8,000 Bitcoin Hunt Now!

Despite the sharp drop in its price, the value of Bitcoin is still one of the most valuable digital currency. James Howells had 8,000 Bitcoin stored on the hard drive of his computer almost 10 years ago, but he inadvertently threw it away. Currently that amount would be equivalent to 184 million dollars.

Howells was able to contact the city council of the town of Newport, United Kingdom , to look for it, since that is where the dump where his computer ended up. If he gets it back, Howells said he will give 10% of the profits to turn the city into a cryptocurrency hub.

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

Howells, a computer engineer, accidentally dropped the hard drive in 2013 after mining 8,000 bitcoins in the coin’s early development stages.

James Howells, we’re talking about him, is from Newport , in Wales , and he’s got $174 million missing somewhere in the City dump and is now in a dispute with the City Council over this matter.

The value of bitcoin fluctuates wildly. For example, the value of what Howells owned was around $250 million in January 2021, but with the big drop earlier this year, it is now significantly less.

Read also: Future of Cryptocurrency & its Advantages and Disadvantages

A hard drive that was not empty

The unusual story begins almost 10 years ago, in 2013, when Howells does an intense cleaning in his house, after a long time of putting it off. In the process, Howells throws away a hard drive he thought was empty .

When he discovered the error, that the hard drive was not empty but actually had 8,000 Bitcoin, it was too late. All the garbage bags that he had taken out of his house had been thrown into the municipal landfill.

At the current price, those 8,000 Bitcoins represent 174 million dollars .

Millionaire offer

Howells wants to look in the dumpster for his disk but for that he needs the approval of the municipal authorities , who rejected several requests.

“I would like the opportunity to sit down with the decision-makers and present them with an action plan,” Howells told the South Wales Argus noting that he is supported by a hedge fund set up to provide funding for the project.

The programmer explains that in 2013 a garbage container, when filled, received a serial number before it was transferred to a pit and buried. A grid reference was also attached to it.

“So I could access the landfill log , identify the week I dumped the hard drive, identify the bin serial number and then the grid reference location,” said the computer scientist.

Howells believes that despite all these years , the data can still be recovered . “The outer box might be rusty, but it’s possible that the disk inside where the data is stored is still working,” she said.

An expensive and time trial race

But finding the hard drive is only part of this monumental task. There is no guarantee that, if found, its condition will be recoverable.

But if so, its owner is more than ready to receive a mega sum of money, although the actual amount will depend on the direction of the highly volatile cryptocurrency.

From the Newport City Council they pointed out that “the cost of excavating, storing and treating the waste could involve millions of dollars , with no guarantee of finding [the device] or that it will continue to work.”

In addition, from the institution they point out that the extraction is not possible according to the current licenses and that the activity itself could have a serious environmental impact in the area , reasons why they say they cannot collaborate.

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