Image via Pixabay/Victor Tangermann
Trash Pile Treasure Hunt

Man Accidentally Buried $275 Million of Bitcoin in Landfill

byVictor Tangermann
Jan 19
Image via Pixabay/Victor Tangermann

Now he's desperately trying to dig the hard drive back up.

Buried Bitcoin

James Howells, an IT worker in the UK, is offering his local municipality $70 million to dig up a hard drive he threw away in 2013.

Why? He believes the drive contains 7,500 bitcoins — worth about $275 million at today’s rates, as CNN reports.

The news comes after a programmer in San Francisco found that he only had two password guesses left to recover 7,002 bitcoins — also worth nearly a quarter billion dollars.

“”I offered to donate 25% or £52.5 million ($71.7 million) to the city of Newport in order to distribute to all local residents who live in Newport should I find and recover the bitcoins,” Howells told CNN.

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Howells asked Newport City Council for special permission to dig up a specified section so the landfill site in question.

“This would work out to approx £175 ($239) per person for the entire city (316k population),” Howells told CNN. “Unfortunately they refused the offer and won’t even have a face to face discussion with me on the matter.”

Digging for Treasure

It’d be like searching for a needle in a haystack. “As soon as I saw the site, I thought you’ve got no chance,” he said. “The area covered is huge.”

But Howells has a plan. “The plan would be to dig a specific area of the landfill based on a grid reference system and recover the hard drive whilst adhering to all safety and environmental standards,” he told CNN.

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“The drive would then be presented to data recovery specialists who can rebuild the drive from scratch with new parts and attempt to recover the tiny piece of data that I need in order to access the bitcoins,” he said.

Such a project would cost a fortune in and of itself. “The cost of digging up the landfill, storing and treating the waste could run into millions of pounds — without any guarantee of either finding it or it still being in working order,” a spokeswoman for Newport City Council told CNN.

READ MORE: Man who accidentally threw out a bitcoin fortune offers $70 million for permission to dig it up [CNN]

More on bitcoin: Man Has Only Two Password Guesses Left to Recover $236 Million in Bitcoin

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