Man Who Accidentally Threw Out Bitcoin Fortune Offers $70M for Excavation Permission
By accident, a British man threw a hard drive with Bitcoin into the trash has offered the local government more than $70 million to dig up landfills for retrieval.
IT employee James Howells got rid of the device containing 7,500 Bitcoins between June and August 2013. He originally mined the virtual currency four years earlier when its value was still low.
But when a rally valued cryptocurrency and looked for it, he discovered that he had mistakenly dumped the hard drive with trash.
$70 Million for Dig Up Permission
After his loss, Bitcoin has been on the rise. Bitcoin price has hit record highs in recent days and is now trading at around $37,000.
Howells first discovered that his hard drive was lost when Bitcoin was worth an estimated $9 million. Based on current levels, he estimated the cost to be around $273 million.
After Howells discovered the problem, he went to the dump to see where the hard drive was. Then he said to CNN that I thought you had no chance as soon as he saw the website, the area is vast. But now he thinks he knows how to get it.
Howells sought permission from the Newport City Council in Wales to excavate a specific section of the landfill where it is believed the hard drive landed.
In return, he offered the council to pay a quarter of the treasure’s current value, which could be distributed among the local population.
Bitcoin was created in 2009 by an anonymous computer programming party under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Currently, the currency is usable in payments, with each transaction recorded on a public distributed ledger, the blockchain.
Excavating Could Cause Huge Environmental Impact
A Newport City Council spokesman told CNN that the local government faced the possibility of accessing some IT hardware said to contain bitcoin several times since 2013.
In a statement sent to CNN, the spokesman said the council did not reject the proposal and could not dig the site.
He said that the board has repeatedly told Mr. Howells that excavation was impossible with the local government’s permission as it could have a tremendous impact on the environment.
It’s worth noting that 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.