A Welshman was offering local authorities a GBP 50 million coronovirus relief fund on Friday if they let him search a landfill for a GBP 210 million worth of bitcoin hard drives that he dumped in 2013.
James Howells had 7,500 units of virtual currency on his laptop hard drive, which was collecting dust in the office drawer after pouring a drink on the device.
He threw the drive away during an office clearout in 2013, forgetting that the bitcoin he had acquired four years earlier was on a memory device.
Newport Council, in South Wales, has repeatedly rejected Howell’s requests to be able to search the landfill, despite Howell’s repeated cuts to the proposal.
“In 2017 my hard drive was valued at around GBP 125 million ($ 171 million, 141 million euros), at which point I gave them another offer of 10 percent and unfortunately that offer was rejected,” Howells told the BBC Told Radio 5 Live.
The value of bitcoin has since risen even further.
Now he is ready to donate 25 percent of the value of the treasure buried in his home town to the “Kovid Relief Fund” when the hard drive is found.
“Imagine that it would be great to say ‘I have given a few hundred pounds to everyone in the city’,” he told the BBC.
The council told the broadcaster that its licensing laws prevent any digging.
A council spokesman said, “The cost of digging, storing and treating waste to landfills can be in the millions of pounds, either it can be found without guarantee or is still working.”
Howells believes the search “won’t be as hard as you might think” as a professional team will be able to hone in on a potential spot because he knows when he throws it.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)