James Howells to sue Local Council over refusal to dig for 8,000 lost BTC


  • James Howells, a 38-year-old man from Newport City, is threatening to sue the Local Council in his thirsty endeavor to recover the 8,000 BTC he lost 10 years ago.
  •  In an open letter sent to the city council on September 4, James Howells seeks authorization to commence excavation by September 18.
  • Local authorities believe the landfill excavation would be detrimental to the environment.

James Howells, who lost 8,000 Bitcoins in a landfill, intends to sue the city for not allowing him to excavate the site in search of his lost fortune. After a decade of attempting to obtain permission to recover his lost Bitcoin from the Newport City Council, James Howells has reached the authority breaking point for his wealth.

Crypto frustration at its finest

A Newport resident who inadvertently discarded a hard drive containing 8,000 Bitcoin (BTC) intends to sue the city’s local council for denying his request to excavate a landfill site for the lost cryptocurrency.

James Howells has spent a decade attempting to have his Bitcoin mined, but local authorities believe this would be detrimental to the environment.

This 38-year-old former IT professional has been at odds with Newport City Council for a decade, mobilizing a 16-person crew to help retrieve the $194 million hard drive.

James Howells was frustrated by what he perceived to be the city council’s reluctance to engage in dialogue, stating that the local authority did not appear interested in resolving the matter without resorting to legal action. In an open letter sent to the city council on September 4, James Howells seeks authorization to commence excavation by September 18.

I’ve tried everything I can for 10 years, they didn’t want to play ball, so now we have to go down the legal route. There’s $500m sitting in the ground and they won’t even have a serious conversation about it. It doesn’t matter what that item is, whether it is Bitcoin, gold, or diamonds, to not even have the conversation is idiotic.

James Howells

When doing a cleanup activity in 2013, the 38-year-old Newport resident inadvertently tossed away a hard disc containing 8,000 BTC, which had been mined in 2009. Since the costly error, Howells has been attempting to recover his lost Bitcoin riches, which is said to be buried in a landfill.

 Back in January 2021, he presented them with an attractive offer: 25% of the BTC’s worth if they allowed him to excavate to find the hard drive. That idea, however, fell on deaf ears.

Will robot dogs and AI get the job done?

In 2022, James Howells suggested to the local authorities a $11 million search that would take three years to finish. The budget was intended to cover artificial intelligence (AI) equipment, robot dogs, and human labor. 

The Bitcoin owner also pledged to give 60% of the recovered BTC to those who assisted him in his excavation endeavor and to distribute $60 worth of Bitcoin to each resident of Newport while keeping 30% for himself.

Howells is threatening to bankrupt the city council with legal action, which seeks damages in the amount of $557 million (£446 million), which corresponds to the value of the lost Bitcoin at its peak price. In addition, James Howells is seeking a review of the council’s decision to deny him access to the landfill site for the past decade.

What are the odds of this endeavor?

The best-case scenario for a hard drive lingering in a landfill for ten years is dependent on a number of fortunate circumstances. First, if the hard drive was encased in a protective covering or sealed container when it was discarded, reducing its exposure to the corrosive elements of the landfill.

In addition, the device might have remained in a state of relative preservation if it had landed in an area with negligible moisture and chemical seepage and had not been exposed to extreme pressures or temperatures. 

Even if the hard drive was recovered in reasonable physical condition, data extraction remains difficult. However, as a result of technological advancements since 2013, modern data recovery laboratories are equipped with sophisticated techniques and tools.

If the hardware components exhibit signs of deterioration, specialists may still be able to replace or repair them, thereby increasing the likelihood of effectively recovering the stored data. The odds are vast, but with the right combination of conditions and knowledge, it is not completely impossible.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Florence Muchai

Florence is a crypto enthusiast and writer who loves to travel. As a digital nomad, she explores the transformative power of blockchain technology. Her writing reflects the limitless possibilities for humanity to connect and grow.

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