A British man who has been battling for the right to search a landfill site for a hard drive containing £180 million worth of Bitcoin (July 2021 prices) says he now has the backing of a hedge fund.
IT worker James Howells, 35, from Newport in Wales, threw out the hard drive containing 7,500 Bitcoins by mistake back in 2013 while he was sorting out some old equipment.
James had forgotten all about the coins until their value began to soar and he appealed to his local council to be allowed to search for them, but to no avail.
Now, according to The Sun newspaper, Mr Howells has the backing of a wealthy hedge fund which has offered to pay for high-tech equipment such as X-ray scanning machines an AI technology in return for a cut of the profits if the coins are found.
James has previously offered his local authority more than £50 million in return for allowing him to search an area of the rubbish dump in Newport, but council bosses have repeatedly turned him down.
The hard drive could be buried under 15 metres of rubbish
He told The Sun: “This would be a proper search – not just somebody going in with a bucket and spade.
“We have a system with multiple conveyer-belts, X-ray scanning devices and an AI scanning device that would be trained to recognise items that are a similar size and density to the hard drive.”
James said that aerial photographs of the dump has narrowed down the location of the drive to a 200-metre square section.
It is believed the drive could be buried up to 15 metres deep and that between 300,000 to 400,000 tonnes of rubbish would have to be sorted through.
Newport City Council has previously cited licencing permit issues and the environmental impact of the search as reasons to turn down Mr Howells’ bid.
He is now waiting to see if the council will change its mind in light of having a backer onboard with deep pockets to bankroll the search.
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Adam is the founder of The Crypto Adviser which offers experts guides and reviews on all things related to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
Adam is Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) Level 4 qualified, a Member of the London Institute of Banking and Finance (MLIBF), and has worked for many years as a journalist and PR consultant, having studied with the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).