A British man who lost his 7,500 Bitcoin stash wants to extend his efforts to search the drive in a landfill with hi-tech equipment.

James Howell, the man who lost his 7,500 Bitcoin hard drive in 2013, has requested British authorities on multiple occasions to searching a landfill since 2014.

Despite agreeing on sharing a portion of the BTC stash to local charities and authorities, and announcing his latest efforts to dig up with hi-tech equipment, the Newport City Council has repeatedly turned down his requests. The council stated, “cost of digging up the landfill, storing and treating the waste could run into millions of pounds – without the guarantee of either finding it or still being in working order.”

In a report by The Sun on July 9, 2021, James Howell has offered 55 million pounds to his local council if he is allowed to search a 200-meter area of a rubbish dump in Newport earlier in January.

Since then, James has contacted excavation, environmental experts, engineers, and data recovery experts to move and extract BTC stash from the hard drive saying, “this would be a proper search – not just somebody going in a bucket and spade.” Further stating, “we have a system with multiple conveyer-belts, X-ray scanning devices and AI Scanning device that would be trained to recognize items that are a similar size and density to the hard drive.” According to him, the cost for a scanning device would alone cost up to 500,000 pounds, and an extractor tool to clear up any pollution would cost a further 100,000 pounds.

James has said that his plan has been backed by a super-rich hedge fund willing to cover up for the costs of the search as well as the equipment involved for the lion’s share of his fortune. He said, “if they would listen to me and hear me out they would know there’s no risk to the council.”

On his estimate, the search is between 300,000-400,000 tonnes of waste to look through. The operation is planned to span 12 months.

The counsel on multiple requests has stated that excavation is not possible due to licensing permit and negative environmental impact on the surrounding area. Adding “even if we were able to agree to his requests, there is the question of who would meet the cost if the hard drive was not found or was damaged to such an extent that the data could not be recovered.

“We have, therefore, been clear that we cannot assist him in this matter.”

There are not all hopes lost for people who are locked out of Bitcoin fortunes. ITV America is on the lookout for people who have been stricken with cryptocurrency wallet mishaps for a TV show.


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