Are the 7,500 Bitcoins mistakenly dumped in the landfill about to be found?

destroy life – The British James Howellsinfamous for inadvertently downloading a hard drive containing 7500 BTC, is back. And he has a plan. Robot dogs, venture capital, artificial intelligence … This time, James feels the sickening wind of doom may finally change. And it is not a recalcitrant common and few vaguely ecological considerations that will manage to hinder him in what is now turning into the search for his life: to find his lost bitcoins whose presence he feels, there, somewhere 50 cm under his feet. he.

(dis) mental charge

The name of James Howells it may not tell you anything. Yet, how Satoshi Nakamotofrom the creation of the belching HODL! Where is it Bitcoin pizza day, its story is engraved in the young history of Bitcoin. Although it is easy to imagine that the interested party would have preferred to remain in comfortable anonymity, the one who had nevertheless perceived all the value of Bitcoin before most of us.

Indeed, James Howells started mining Bitcoin in 2009, that is, in the very early days of the queen of blockchains. He is therefore a contemporary of S. Nakamoto. As such, he is part of the handful of industry pioneers and for this alone, it would have deserved a special place in the crypto-Pantheon. Unfortunately, she will go down in history for a completely different reason.

In those ancient times when the thing was still possible, James frantically mines bitcoin on his laptop. So it will accumulate 7500 bitcoins, stored on its internal hard drive. A dark story of a girl dissatisfied with the noise and heat emanating from the device and a lemonade spill afterwards, said the hard drive ends up pulled out, cleaned and placed in an anonymous drawer.

This is where the drama takes place. On the occasion of a major cleanup, our unfortunate Englishman accidentally throws the disc. So he is completely unaware that by doing so he is sealing his fate of him and ruining the quality of his sleep for the next decade.

Some time later, during a television broadcast, the young man learns of two things. On the one hand, that its 7,500 bitcoins are worth around $ 650,000. And that on the other hand, the treasure now rests under a few tons of garbage for some time. Did you think you knew the emotional lift phenomenon? Have a compassionate thought for James.

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Lost bitcoins, Newport City Hall is turning a deaf ear

In 2017 the Journal du Coin he was already echoing this story, and you can consult the adventures, the twists and turns that James has experienced in the following years. Various episodes that we will summarize simply by remembering that yes, the municipality of Newport – the town of residence of our bewildered bitcoiner – he understood what was at stake, but no, it was out of the question to let someone shovel at random in an industrial, polluted 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’s bitcoin jackpot is worth around $ 160 million. Enough to live a dream life rather than a nightmare, recycling bins and industrial shredders.

Over the years, from time to time, James’s story has occasionally found a new echo, according to media interviews, half amused, half heartbroken by the young computer scientist’s misfortune. A real hymn to the vital necessity of the “backup copy” (and the danger of drinking lemonade in front of the computer). Unfortunately little progress has been made over the years, the municipality still shows resistance to the slightest excavation of the site. A site of such magnitude that everyone agreed that the research firm would entail a new definition of the concepts of “needle” and “haystack”, decentralized economy version.

But in 2022 everything could change: Giacomo is back! And this time he is prepared and seems to have managed to put together a team, huge financial resources and a battle plan. A happy ending in perspective?

Digital gold in the trash

In a media interview Business Insider, James details his plan. And also his plans, with different times and places, thus demonstrating that he has matured his strategy (10 years of insomnia probably helped). And, the least we can say is that even if it means marking the history of cryptocurrencies, you might as well do it with panache! On the one hand, James secured the support of investment funds that he managed to convince of his little chance of success (after all, we’ve seen crypto investment funds make dumber bets, right?).

Thereby, Hanspeter Jaberg And Karl Wendeborntwo Swiss venture capitalists, have pledged to support the British initiative on the basis of 11 million dollars.

A not indifferent budget, but which will not be excessive given the size of the site. Indeed, we are talking about the prospect of returning, sorting, then reworking over 110,000 tons of waste over an estimated period of between 18 months and 3 years. In support of these excavations, numerous staff members and a dedicated tracking and triage station enhanced with Artificial Intelligence, capable of detecting anything that potentially resembles James’ hard drive.

In order for the picture to be complete, the team of valiant ordurologists plans to enlist the services of some specimens of the robot dog Spot of Boston Dynamics with the mission to secure the site at night and, like real truffle pigs of a new species, participate in searches during the day.

Boston Dynamics, James's robot dog looking for hidden bitcoins.
What could go wrong?

Add to this that James Howells plans to generously reward the entire team, the City of Newport, but also the entire population of the city (150,000 people all the same) through incentives and a generous satoshi airdrop. All this, of course, assuming that the vehicle is located, and that it is still usable. A possibility that Howells considers “about 80 to 90% chance”.

The plan is sound, the rationale obvious, but at the time of writing Newport City Hall has again made it known that access to the site and permission to excavate remain out of the question. An attitude that obviously disappoints James, which indicates that he could potentially consider taking the city hall to court for an “illegal embargo” of his bitcoins … A bit crazy but probably not much more than that. entire modern saga that has not finished building its legend.

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