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Newport Resident Offers $74M To City Council To Find Hard Drive With 7,500 Bitcoins

Catherine Ross
·2 min read

A Newport, Wales resident has promised to pay 52.5 million pounds (over $74 million) to local authorities if they help him find a hard drive he had thrown away with 7,500 Bitcoins on it.

What Happened: James Howells, a Newport-based software engineer, is asking the local authorities to provide him access to the city’s landfill site to find the hard drive he had thrown away, a local outlet South Wales Argus has reported.

Howell claims that he mistakenly threw away the wrong hard drive with 7,500 Bitcoins on it in 2013.

According to Howell, the landfill operated based on a serial numbers system in 2013: “When a general waste bin was full, it was given a serial number, it was dragged off to the open pit and it was buried. It was also given a grid reference number.”

"So what that means is, if I could access the landfill records, I could identify the week that I threw the hard drive away; I could identify the serial number of the bin that it was in; and then I could identify where the grid reference is located,” the software engineer continues.

He’s willing to search the entire area to try and find the hard drive, and he’s not acting alone: "I’ve got backing from a hedge fund who are willing to put up the funds for the project,” he added.

Why It Matters: Howell is offering to pay 25% of the number of Bitcoins on the drive, which is over $74 million (1875 Bitcoins) at press time. He would use this money to set up a Covid Relief Fund to help the city and its residents during the pandemic.

“We are happy to put money in an Escrow account; if we don’t do things properly, the council won’t be left to foot the bill,” Howell has reassured the news outlet.

This is his second attempt to recover the hard drive, his previous request was denied.

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