7,500 Bitcoins mistakenly thrown in a landfill about to be found?

life is garbage – The British James Howellsfamous for accidentally throwing away a hard drive containing 7500 BTC, it’s back. And, he had a plan. Robot dogs, venture capital, artificial intelligence… At this moment, James felt that the disgusting air of misfortune would finally return. And, it is not a blameworthy city and some vague ecological considerations that prevent him from what is now the turning point in his life’s search: to find his lost bitcoins whose presence he feels , there, in a place 50 cm below his feet. .

Mental (dis)charge

The name of James Howells may not tell you anything. And yet, as Satoshi Nakamotofrom the creation of belching HODL! hope Bitcoin Pizza Day, his story is etched in the young history of Bitcoin. Although it is easy to imagine that the person concerned prefers to remain comfortably anonymous, he nevertheless understands all the value of Bitcoin before most of us.

In effect, James Howells started mining Bitcoin in 2009, ie in the early years of the queen of blockchains. So he was a contemporary of S. Nakamoto. As such, he is a part of some of the industry pioneers and for that alone, he deserves a special place in the crypto-Pantheon. Unfortunately, he will go down in history for a different reason.

In those old days when the thing was still possible, James shivered bitcoins on his laptop. Thus he will be gathered 7500 bitcoins, stored on its internal hard drive. A dark story of a girlfriend who was not satisfied with the noise and heat given off by the device and a spill of lemonade afterwards, it is said that the hard drive was removed, cleaned and stored in an unknown drawer.

This is where the drama begins. On the occasion of a great cleaning, our unfortunate British accidentally dropped the disc. Then he was completely unaware that by doing this he was sealing his fate and ruining the quality of his sleep for the next decade.

Some time later, during a television broadcast, the young man realized two things. On the one hand, that is his 7,500 bitcoins are worth $650,000. And on the other hand, what is now hidden is under several tons of garbage for some time. Think you know the emotional elevator scene? Have a kind thought for James.

>> No need to return a dump to buy Bitcoin with Bitstack… in addition, you get 5 € worth of BTC with the code JDC5 (commercial link) <

Bitcoins gone, Newport town hall deaf

In 2017, the Journal du Coin echoes this story, and you can consult the adventures and twists that James went through in the following years. Different stages we will summarize by simply mentioning that yes, the town of Newport – the municipality home to our confused bitcoiner – understands what is at stake, but no, it is not in question to allow anyone to shovel in an industrial, dirty and dangerous environment (the landfill in question covers an area equivalent to several football fields) .

Newport municipal landfill seen from the sky – Here’s a hard drive (credit: Wales News)

Currently, James’ bitcoin jackpot is valued around $160 million. It’s enough to live a dream life rather than the horrible recycling bins and industrial shredders.

Over the years, from time to time, James’ story has sometimes found a new echo, according to media interviews, half amused, half saddened by the plight of the young computer scientist. A true ode to the essential need for a “backup copy” (and the dangers of drinking lemonade in front of the computer). Unfortunately, little progress has been made over the years, the municipality still shows resistance to a small excavation of the site. A site of such scope that everyone agrees that the research business will include a new definition of the concepts of “needle” and “haystack”, decentralized economy version.

But in 2022 everything could change: James is back! And this time he is ready and seems to be able to put together a team, sufficient financial resources and a battle plan. A happy epilogue in view?

Digital gold in the trash

In a media interview Business Insider, James detailed his plan. And even his plans, with different timeframes and stakes, thus show that he has matured his strategy (perhaps 10 years of insomnia helped). And, the least we can say is that even if it means marking crypto history, you can do it with panache! On the one hand, James got the support of investment funds that he was able to convince of his few chances of success (after all, we have seen crypto investment funds make dumber bets, right?).

Thus, Hanspeter Jaberg and Karl Wendeborntwo Swiss venture capitalists, promised to support the initiative of the Briton to the tune of $11 million.

A significant budget, but it is not excessive considering the size of the site. In fact, we are talking about the prospect of returning, sorting, then reprocessing more than 110,000 tons of waste in an estimated period between 18 months and 3 years. In support of these excavations, several personnel and a dedicated tracking and triage station were augmented by Artificial Intelligence, capable of detecting anything that could possibly resemble James’ hard drive.

To complete the picture, a group of intrepid ordurologists plans to enlist the services of some specimens of the Spot robot dog from Boston Dynamics with the mission of securing the site at night and, like a real truffle pig of a new kind, engaged in the search during the day.

Boston Dynamics, the robot dog that hunts down James' hidden bitcoins.
What could go wrong?

Add to this that James Howells plans to generously reward the entire team, the municipality of Newport, but also the entire population of the city (150,000 people in all) through incentives and a generous airdrop of satoshis. All of this, of course, on the assumption that the medium has been found, and that it is still available. A possibility that Howells explores in “About 80 to 90% chance”.

The plan is good, the motivation is clear, but as of writing Newport City Hall has again announced that access to the site and permission to dig remains out of the question. A posture that apparently frustrated James, who indicated that he might consider taking the town hall to court over the “illegal embargo” of his bitcoins… A somewhat crazy posture but perhaps not much more yet throughout this modern saga that is not finished building his legend.

Don’t say that to James. Keep your cryptos safe in your wallet. To buy Bitcoin without even realizing it, register on Bitstack… and earn 5€ in BTC for free thanks to the code JDC5 (commercial link)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.