KEY POINTS

  • James Howells has devised an $11 million business plan to recover his hardrive
  • The plan involves digging through 110,000 tons of trash in 3 years
  • He has also raised $6 million from two Euro-based investors

James Howells has devised a new strategy to dig a hard drive containing the passcode to his Bitcoin holding from a dump using robotic dogs to smell out the device. He is convinced that the case of the drive might be damaged but the inside information can still be obtained.

In an interview with Business Insider on Sunday, Howells, from the city of Newport in southern Wales, stated that his decade-long search won't stop until he has found the hard drive. In 2013, the former IT employee dumped the wrong hard drive in the local dumpster which consisted passcode to his crypto wallet which had 8,000 BTC in it. The wallet would be worth around $169 million at current prices.

So far, his requests to dig for his hard drive have been denied by the Newport City Council. Now, he says that he has an $11 million business scheme which will be enough to rescue his hard drive from the garbage dump. The crypto enthusiast aims to use this scheme to attract investors and get the Newport City Council on board to help him dig through 110,000 tons of trash in a course of three years.

A $6 million version of the business scheme would go over 18 months. In a video from July 24, hosted by Top Gear's Richard Hammond, Howells stated that he has secured over $6 million from two Euro-based venture capitalists Hanspeter Jaberg and Karl Wendeborn on the condition that he gets approval from the Newport City Council.

As per the business scheme, the trash will be sorted at a separate pop-up facility near the garbage dump using AI and human pickers. He had even brought around eight experts in artificial intelligence, excavation, waste management, and data extraction in an effort to track down the hard drive.

Howells also plans to make use of the Boston Dynamics robotic dogs as security and CCTV cameras to scan the ground. The “Spot” robot model cost $74,500. He says that he has already picked two names for the dogs: one named Satoshi, the creator of Bitcoin, and the other named Hal, after Hal Finney, the first person to receive Bitcoin in a transaction.

Additionally, speaking on the authorities' rejection of Howells' requests in the past, a spokesperson for the local government told Insider that "nothing" that Howells does will turn the mind of the government around as it would be expensive and poses an ecological risk.

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It took four years for Bitcoin to reach a threshold of $100 per BTC since its launch in 2009. Unsplash
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