James Howells from Newport, South Wales, says he was wrong to throw away the 7.500 bitcoins hard disk. With bitcoins currently worth around $38,000 each, the missing hard disk may be worth the better part of $300 million.
There is one big issue, however. Last week, he didn’t laugh at the trip, but seven years ago.
Howells threw away the hard disk in 2013, claiming that he had moved the bitcoin wallet to a new device. He placed the hard drive in the bin and took the bags to the nearby landfill.
Some months later, Howells found that he made a huge mistake. “When I first heard stories of the Silk Road shutdown and of others profiting millions, my penny was then dropping out of a hard drive that I had 7,500 bitcoins I threw out a couple of months before,” he told the BBC.
Since 2013, Howells has been asking the Newport City Council to search the property, but the Council has declined to issue it a permit, perhaps unexpectedly.
Seven years on, Howells enhanced its anticipation by supplying the Council with 25% of the income to a Covid relief fund, if they allowed it to hire a specialist team to search the site.
Do not begin looking
Unfortunately, the council is not happy to let Howells go for a hard disk seven years ago. “Newport City Council’s ability to retrieve an IT hardware that was said to contain bitcoins has been contact since 2013 many times,” he told the BBC.
“The council has on many occasions advised Mr.Howells that excavations under our license permit are not feasible, and digging itself would have an immense environmental impact.
“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.”
While hard disks can be amazingly solid, there are – to put it mildly – scrap chances of finding the disks and glass platters intact.