It has been reported that a man who unintentionally tossed away 8,000 bitcoins kept in his hard drive is set to employ robot dogs and artificial intelligence to assist him search a landfill for the digital money.
In 2013, Newport, Wales, resident James Howells inadvertently threw out an iPhone-sized hard drive. The value of the bitcoins on it has risen to over $175 million of today’s conversion.
Insider reports that Howells is now attempting to get Newport’s city council to allow him to use a high-tech, multimillion-dollar plan to dig up the landfill and locate the hard drive.
Based on reports, Howell intends to spend $11 million excavating the landfill and sorting through 110,000 pounds of garbage as part of his grand plan. He anticipates the rubbish to be sorted out over the course of three years by a combination of humans and AI-powered computers.
Boston Dynamics’ robot canines would be deployed to sort waste by day and keep an eye out for trespassing treasure hunters at night, according to the story.
It’s likely that even if Howells locates the hard disk, it will be impossible for him to retrieve the bitcoins because the drive might have already sustained heavy damage.
But he has enlisted the services of an advisor who was instrumental in recovering data from the Columbia space shuttle’s black box following its crash.
Hanspeter Jaberg and Karl Wendeborn, two venture capitalists from Switzerland and Germany, would fund Howells’ ambitious idea if he wins over the municipal council. If the bitcoins are found, the pair will be able to pocket more than $50 million.
As Jaberg told Business Insider, “it’s evident that this is a needle in the haystack and that this is a very, very high-risk investment.”
Besides repaying his investors, Howells is said to have planned to keep 30% of the Bitcoin, give 30% to the workers who helped retrieve it, and distribute $60 to inhabitant of Newport in Bitcoin.
Howells’ plan is opposed by the city council, which tells Insider that digging up the waste poses a “serious ecological risk.”
Howells, on the other hand, insists on pressing on, telling Insider that he has visited with a local MP and is considering legal options.
However, if the disk is found, Howells has vowed to keep merely 30 percent of the Bitcoins on it. According to Business Insider, it amounts to $54 million, with the balance going to local charities and $60 going to each of Newport’s 150,000 residents.