An IT worker in the United Kingdom is reportedly planning to sift through 330,000 to 440,000 tons of waste to find his missing Bitcoin (BTC) trove worth over $247 million.
James Howells says he stored 7,500 BTC on his computer in 2009, but lost it all when he accidentally threw away the hard drive in 2013.
The Sun reports that the 35-year-old now wants to use X-ray scanning devices and AI technology to find his lost crypto fortune at a landfill in Newport, Wales.
Howells says he’s sought help from engineers, environmentalists and data recovery experts.
“We have a system with multiple conveyor 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.
This would be a delicate search because we wouldn’t want to damage the hard drive in the process – you can’t just use a claw grabber.”
A hedge fund is fronting the cost of the 12-month long search and the equipment in exchange for a large share of Howells’ crypto fortune. The Newport Council, which has repeatedly declined Howells’ requests to search the site, must first approve the plan.
A spokesperson says that digging up the landfill, as well as storing and treating the waste, could cost millions of pounds without any guarantee of finding the missing drive.
“The council has also told Mr. Howells on a number of occasions that excavation is not possible under our licensing permit and excavation itself would have a huge environmental impact on the surrounding area.”
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