Encoder trash. A massive landfill search to find a hard drive with Bitcoin fortune.

Encoder trash.  A massive landfill search to find a hard drive with Bitcoin fortune.
The hard drive containing the bitcoin fortune is said to be at this landfill site in Newport, Wales.

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Because he accidentally dumped a huge fortune in bitcoin on a hard drive, a Briton now wants to dig up an entire landfill.

A Briton plans to spend £10m on an extensive trash can search in the hopes of finding a hard drive he accidentally threw in 2013. This contains the keys to the origin of Bitcoin worth 8000 BTC, which currently corresponds to around CHF180 million.

James Howells suspects the hard drive is in a landfill in Newport, Wales. The hedge fund wants to bear the costs of the research process. Howells says it assembled an entire team of environmental and data recovery experts to research the landfill for nine to 12 months. Even artificial intelligence and robotic dogs will be used.

The city refuses

If the bitcoins are redeemed, Howells plans to keep 30 percent of the proceeds to itself, 30 percent to a hedge fund, and the rest to be spent on projects in Newport. Howells wants to leave the landfill nicer than he found it, and, for example, builds wind turbines in cleared areas.

Howells has been trying to track down the hard drive for several years. During his pre-planned searches, he encountered granite in the city of Newport, which is responsible for operating the landfill. And this time, too, the municipal administration is alienating. A city spokesperson told the Guardian that Howells’ project carries “significant environmental risks” and therefore cannot be approved.

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