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Bitcoin Landfill Saga Continues – Set the Robots Loose, But Will NewPort Council Agree?

robot landfill wide

An early Bitcoin investor named James Howells, claims that in 2013 he mistakenly threw away a hard drive containing Bitcoin reported to be worth an estimated $182 million at today’s prices. Now, he hopes he can recover his lost Bitcoin by digging through a landfill site.

Robot Dogs and Landfill

It’s been revealed that around 20% of all Bitcoin has been lost. While a large portion of this figure is likely a result of wallet keys getting lost, some can also be attributed to lost hardware, particularly hard drives.

james howells

Howells claims that he chucked out the hard drive containing thousands of Bitcoin in 2013 while cleaning his office. I think everyone will agree that this misstep was massively unfortunate. However, Howells has not let it bring him down. The investor has been continuously exploring his options with the local council, asking for permission to look around the local landfill in an attempt to recover his Bitcoin. Unfortunately, his previous requests have all been denied with the council stating it would cause too much environmental damage.

Now, however, Howells has a trick up his sleeve – robot dogs powered by advanced artificial intelligence. After securing around $12.2 million in funding from venture capitalists, Howells hopes he can use a series of robotic dogs to scan the landfill to find the hard drive without having an environmental impact. The robots will scourer the site using scanners and AI to hopefully find the lost hard drive.

If his plea to the council is finally successful, Howells aims to search through 100,000 metric tonnes of rubbish in the search. Should the hard drive be found, Howells will be allowed to keep 30% of the proceeds with the rest being distributed among financial backers, workers, and the local council. It would take a colossal amount of effort and a good deal of luck to recover the hard drive (which might not even be in working order). With his previous requests denied, we’ll have to wait and see whether the investor is granted council approval.


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