British Man Who Lost 7,500 BTC Sues for Right to Search Council Landfill

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A British computer expert, who inadvertently misplaced a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins, has initiated a legal action to compel the Newport City Council to permit him to search through the landfill where the storage device is believed to be buried.


Anticipating a further increase in the value of the cryptocurrency, the expert said he only wants to be given the chance to find the lost coins.

Hedge Fund Investors Support Howells

James Howells, a British computer expert whose ex-partner accidentally discarded a drive containing 7,500 bitcoins (BTC), has initiated a legal action to compel Newport City Council to permit him to search a landfill where he believes the cryptocurrency is located. A group of hedge fund investors is reportedly financing Howells’ potentially expensive lawsuit.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the investors stand to receive a portion of the lost BTC if and when Howells successfully recovers them. In addition to financing the lawsuit, which is slated to be filed in the High Court, the hedge fund investors have assembled a team of search specialists and data recovery engineers.

As reported by News in September 2023, even Howells’ offer of a reward amounting to 25% of the cryptocurrency asset’s value failed to persuade Newport City Council officials. The rejection of his offer was the last straw for Howells, who has been in conflict with the council for a decade. He also cited the council’s refusal to discuss the issue as one reason for his decision to pursue legal action.

Computer Expert Declares He Won’t Back Down

While the BTC on the hard drive would be valued at just over $525 million at current prices (4:40 p.m. EST, March 25, 2024), Howells is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying the value of the bitcoins will far exceed a billion dollars. He added that his sole wish is to be given an opportunity to recover the lost coins.

“Some experts believe that by the end of the year the price will rise to $25,000[0] per coin. That would make my hard drive worth £1.5billion. The council may be happy to leave that in a landfill but I’m not. They want me to go away and forget about it but how could anyone? Why should I back down? All I want is a chance to get my property back,” Howells said.

Previously, the Newport City Council denied a computer expert’s request to excavate, citing potential negative environmental impacts on the surrounding area. The council, emphasizing its commitment to serving Newport residents, has declined to comment further on the issue.

What are the odds of Howells successfully recovering the lost bitcoins? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.