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    $181 million bitcoin hard drive search in junkyard valued at $11 million



    James Howells, who accidentally threw away a hard drive with cryptocurrency, presented a project to sort garbage using artificial intelligence to detect a lost device. The project budget is $11 million.


    James Howells of Newport, south Wales, has developed a project to search a local junkyard for a hard drive containing 8,000 bitcoins worth about $181 million, Insider reports. In 2013, Howells accidentally threw away this disc, confusing it with another, exactly the same device.

    Howells hopes that local authorities will allow him to organize a search for lost bitcoins. For almost a decade, the Newport City Council denied his requests to dig up the hard drive, saying it was costly and harmful to the environment.

    Howells’ $11 million project calls for cleaning up more than 100,000 tons of trash over three years. The reduced version of the project will cost $6 million and take a year and a half. The search for the hard drive is supposed to be carried out using sorters, robotic dogs from Boston Dynamics, and a Max-AI scanner with artificial intelligence, trained to search for hard drives on a conveyor belt.

    Howells’ plans also include recycling and re-burial of sorted waste. After the project is completed, he plans to build a solar or wind farm on top of the landfill.

    Howells said that if he could find the hard drive and recover the data, he would keep about 30% of what was there. About a third will go to reward the team, 30% to investors, and the rest will be spent on local needs, including a payment of £50 in bitcoin to each of Newport’s 150,000 residents.

    In the event that Howells fails to secure the support of the city council, the last resort in finding the loss will be to file a lawsuit that the actions of the authorities constitute an “illegal embargo” on the hard drive.



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