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Engineer who lost 7,500 bitcoin hard drive appeals to NASA

James Howells does not budge: it is certain that the hard drive that he accidentally threw in the trash in 2013 is still functional. The Welsh engineer even asked NASA for an expertise, for good reason: the hard drive contains 7,500 bitcoins …

The story went around the world a few weeks ago. James Howells, a Welsh engineer based in Newport (Wales), accidentally thrown in the trash a hard drive that contains 7,500 bitcoins. In 2013, this already represented a nice sum, around 2 million euros.

A year of excavation in the landfill

But since then, the price of bitcoin has exploded and according to Howells, the hard drive is now worth more than $ 500 million. Enough to become obsessive: since the incident, he has been moving heaven and earth to recover the storage device, and he is convinced of it: despite the years and the tons of garbage that have piled up on top, the hard drive is still functional .

But he encountered resistance from Newport town hall, which had no desire to dig in the landfill, sort and treat the waste. An operation which could take a year of work, and which represents millions of pounds. The result is also without guarantee: there is nothing to say that the device is still in working order, or even that it will be found. But James Howells is so sure of himself that he offered a quarter of the booty to the town hall!

At the end of the line, he also called on NASA and in particular the data recovery specialists who had worked on the remains of Columbia, the space shuttle which had exploded in mid-flight in 2003. According to these experts, the The engineer assures us that digging into a landfill will not be a problem. Without convincing the municipality of Newport.

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