The price of bitcoin is reaching record high ever since the pandemic has locked people in their own rooms and houses. At the moment of reporting, the current Bitcoin price is around $36,300 before previously hitting a little over $40,000 about 10 days ago. Regrets are washing over British IT worker James Howells as he now desperately wants to find back the hard drive he threw away in 2013.
That hard drive was something he thought to be a useless digital wallet... with over 7,500 Bitcoins in it.
James Howells from Newport, Wales is asking the council to let him dig up his hard drive back.
Speaking to CNN, Howells explained, "I offered to donate 25% or £52.5 million ($71.7 million) to the city of Newport in order to distribute to all local residents who live in Newport should I find and recover the Bitcoins.
"This would work out to approx £175 ($239) per person for the entire city (316,000 population). Unfortunately, they refused the offer and won't even have a face to face discussion with me on the matter."
Howells was a bitcoin miner for four years and threw away this hard drive by mistake, thinking that he backed them up already before. He threw them away around June and August 2013.
He only realized how big of a mistake it was when Bitcoin boomed and reached the price of $1000 ea, which means the hard drive he threw away had $6 million in it in 2013. When he spoke to BBC, Howells said he just didn't have the opportunity to get it back.
He asked the council for permission and even offered 25% of the content to them.
He explained that they'll begin by using a grid reference system so they can pinpoint the hard drive location accurately and minimize the environmental damage. After that they'll get a data recovery specialist to rebuild the hard drive and recover the 7,500 bitcoins inside.
"The value of the hard drive is over £200m (around $273 million), and I'm happy to share a portion of that with the people of Newport should I be given the opportunity to search for it. Approximately 50% would be for investors who put up the capital to fund the project, and I would be left with the remaining 25%," he continued.
His bitcoins were worth $6 million in 2013 and now over $270 million.
Coin Desk -Via
However, his requests were rejected as the use of the excavation tools would deal with huge environmental damage. The cost would be too huge for results that are not yet guaranteed.
"A modern landfill is a complex engineering project and digging one up brings up all sorts of environmental issues such as dangerous gasses and potential landfill fires, it’s a big, expensive, and risky project," he added.
The council has refused the man's request due to environmental damage risks and the unguaranteed result.