Man Offers $72 Million To Search For Hard Drive With 7,500 BTC

17 Janvier, 2021, 17:10 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Man offers city $72M to dig up accidentally discarded Bitcoin fortune

Howells, 35, told CNBC that the long lost storage device contains the cryptographic "private key" which serves as the only way to unlock the 7,500 bitcoins he had.

Back in 2013, Howells accidentally threw away a hard drive containing 7,500 BTC while cleaning his house.

However, Newport city council officials say the environmental risks associated with the excavation are significant given the likelihood of the exercise not yielding any fruit.

The price of bitcoin hit an all-time high in recent days and is now trading around $37,000.

He has petitioned his local council in Newport for the "opportunity to sit down with the decision-makers and present to them an action plan", stating that he will donate 25% of his lost bitcoin to a Newport "COVID-19 relief fund" if the council let him access the site to look for the hard drive. "This would work out to approximately ($239) per person for the entire city".

The report revealed that the city council has severally declined his initial pleads to scoop out the missing Fortune on the landfill site.

"I offered the local authority 10% of the recovered funds in order to give me permission to search on their property and unfortunately they said no at the time", Mr Howells told BBC Radio 5 Live. The Bitcoin stash came from Howell's mining activity back when it was still possible to use CPUs to mine Bitcoin.

Howells first discovered that the hard drive was missing when his bitcoin was worth around $9 million.

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He first realized his mistake, he told BBC News, when the price of Bitcoin spiked from $150 to $1,000, and his wallet was worth around $6 million in 2013.

Howells also explained his strategy for searching the Bitcoin hard drive in the landfill site, and also the safety measures they will adopt to ensure the unhealthy gases from the site don't escape. "It was also given a grid reference number", Mr Howell said.

But as its value shot up, he frantically searched for it... only to realise he had discarded the hard disc with the currency.

The device reportedly contains about 7,500 Bitcoin, now worth over $200 million. The hedge fund would take 50% of the prize, and Howells would keep 25%.

In exchange for help from local authorities, he has offered to pay over $70 million, if a permit for the excavation of the landfill site is provided.

The council said: "The cost of digging up the landfill, storing and treating the waste could run into millions of pounds without any guarantee of finding it or it still being in working order".

Nevertheless, the Newport City Council rejected his request, and said it's impossible due to "environmental and funding concerns".

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