- James Howells misplaced a hard drive containing 8,000 Bitcoin, now worth over €192 million, in a Newport landfill.
- Amid legal threats, Howells urges Newport to permit an excavation, while the city resists.
Diving into Digital Dumpster Diving: The Bitcoin Drama in Newport
Decades ago, the pioneers of the Bitcoin realm would scarcely have imagined the digital goldmine they were sitting on. James Howells, once an early entrant to the crypto ecosystem, found himself in this enviable position with a whopping 8,000 Bitcoin. But as fate would have it, he’s unsure of its exact location.
The Misplaced Fortune
In an incident that is nothing short of a modern-day treasure hunt, Howells believes that his significant stash of Bitcoin, currently valued at over €192 million as of September 12, 2023, lies buried beneath mountains of trash in a landfill site in Newport, Wales. The unfortunate disposal occurred back in August 2013 when Howells, leveraging his IT expertise, inadvertently tossed out the hard drive during an office clean-up. By the time he realized his monumental error, city services had already transported the discarded items to their final resting place.
Since this realization, Howells has been on a relentless mission to regain access to his digital treasure trove. His journey, however, hasn’t been smooth sailing. Over the years, he has found himself ensnared in numerous disagreements with Newport’s city administration.
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Not one to back down, Howells has ramped up his efforts. With an intent to excavate the landfill until he locates the elusive drive, he has issued a clarion call to the city officials. But Newport, perhaps wary of the operational disruptions and potential risks, has not been accommodating. They remain hesitant to grant the requisite permissions for such an operation.
The plot thickened when Howells, as reported by the “Telegraph”, engaged legal counsel. Armed with attorneys, he dispatched a letter to the city council, firmly requesting that his excavation endeavors commence by September 18. Should the city fail to acquiesce, Howells’ legal team seems poised to escalate matters. They’re prepared to mount a legal challenge, seeking not only the clearance for their excavation project but potentially also pinning the city with a damage claim and an injunction against other landfill activities.
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