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In the midst of a new cryptocurrency boom, particularly Bitcoin, which currently accounts for 70% of the market and reached almost USD 41,000 on January 7, A British investor, who in 2013 accidentally threw a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins – today, about USD 275,000 million – offered the city of Newport, Wales, 58 million euros to be able to excavate a garbage dump, according to Business Insider.
However, from Newport they assured CNN, through a statement, that it is not allowed to excavate at the site due to the “great environmental impact in the surroundings “, and because there is no guarantee that the hard drive will be found or that it will work.
In 2013, the British James Howells accidentally threw a hard drive in which he stored 7,500 bitcoins, which at that time were little known and had very little value. Years later, the price of the cryptocurrency soared and is now trading around $ 37,000. That is the reason why the British offered the Newport city council a millionaire sum in exchange for allowing him to excavate the garbage dump where he thinks the hard drive went.
Howells offered the Newport city council a millionaire sum in exchange for allowing him to excavate the dump where he thinks the hard drive went
“I offered to donate 25% of the value, or 52.5 million pounds (58 million euros), to Newport City Council for distribution to citizens if I can find the hard drive and get the bitcoins back.“, said.
“This would allow the distribution of about 175 pounds (196.6 euros) per person for the entire city (316,000 inhabitants). Unfortunately, they have rejected the offer and do not want to discuss it, ”he added.
Notably, Howells mined bitcoin for four years, when cryptocurrencies were barely valuable. The Briton threw away the hard drive between June and August 2013, thinking that he had already saved all the files he needed.
However, he first became aware of this mistake when the price rose from $ 150 to $ 1,000 and the value of his digital wallet soared to $ 6 million (€ 4.97 million) in 2013.
Howells mined bitcoin for four years, when cryptocurrencies were hardly worth anything. The British threw the hard drive between June and August 2013
After visiting the dump, Howells explained that he thought he had no chance of recovering his hard drive. But now he has a plan to find it. The same would be “dig in a specific area of the dumpster divided into grids and recover the hard drive while meeting all environmental safety standards”He told CNN.
“Then the device would be handed over to data recovery specialists to rebuild it with new parts and thus be able to access the small part of data that I need to access the bitcoins,” he added.
According to Howells, The hard drive is worth around £ 200 million (€ 227.83 million) and I would be more than willing to share some of it with the people of Newport if they give you the chance to get it back.
“Approximately 50% would go to investors who put the capital to finance the project and I would keep the remaining 25%,” he added. But Newport wants nothing to do with the idea.
The New York Times published that bitcoins stuck, lost or abandoned in digital wallets amount to 20% of the existing ones, about 18.4 million with a value of 116 million euros
The cost of digging, storing and treating the waste could be several million pounds, with no guarantee that the hard drive will be found or that it will work.
Howells is not, at least, the only one who suffered such luck: The New York Times recently published that bitcoins stuck, lost or abandoned in digital wallets amount to 20% of the existing ones, about 18.4 million. That is equal to a value of 116 million euros.
Likewise, Wallet Recovery Services, a company that is dedicated to recovering lost keys, explained that it receives about 70 requests per day from users trying to access their digital wallets, a figure that tripled with the last increase in the price of bitcoin.
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