James Howells, the British IT worker who tossed out a hard drive that had £275 million worth of Bitcoin on it, has planned a landfill search using X-ray scanning devices and specialist AI technology. The 35-year-old has reportedly contacted environmentalists, data recovery experts, and engineers from across the globe in his quest to see out the 12-month planned specialist search.
The British IT worker has revealed that his plan to recover his lost treasure has been backed by a multi-billion hedge fund that is prepared to cover any cost of the search including all the necessary equipment involved. The hedge fund will however take a chunk out of his fortune in exchange for their involvement. “Since I made the offer in January the value of Bitcoin has gone up and down – if we were to recover the hard drive today it would be worth £275 million,” James told reporters.
According to reports, James accidentally threw away the hard drive containing the Bitcoin fortune back in 2013 when he was cleaning his office. He has now offered to pay £55 million to his local council if he is granted permission to search a 200-meter area of a rubbish dump in Newport, Wales.
The British IT worker has stated that his impending search would be a delicate one as the hard drive would have to remain untouched or undamaged in the search process. The Newport native stated that the cost of the scanning device is up to £500,000, along with a £100,000 extractor tool to clear up any pollution.
“You can’t just use a claw grabber,” he said. James added that the search would be a proper one and not just digging with somebody going in with a bucket and spade.
“We have a system with multiple conveyer-belts, X-ray scanning devices and an AI scanning device that would be trained to recognize items that are a similar size and density to the hard drive. We have excavation experts and qualified engineers to make sure it was all being done correctly as well as in a way that was safe for the environment,” he stated.
According to James, it took him four or five months to find the best data recovery experts in the world to make sure we can get it off the hard drive. James however revealed that local council chiefs won’t even entertain the idea no matter how much money he offers, describing them as stubborn. James explained that all he wants is to meet with officials to present his plans.
“If they would listen to me and hear me out they would know there’s no risk to the council. All I want is to put my case to the decision-makers and if they still say no then so be it but they won’t even do that,” he said.