A UK-based man is planning to use AI, and robot dogs to recover a hard drive he lost which has £150 in bitcoin.

Computer engineer James Howells reportedly threw away an old laptop with hard drive that carried 8,000 bitcoins back in 2013. He was simply doing an office clean out when he unwittingly discarded the laptop, and in the process, all his hopes of becoming a multi-millionaire.

As the value of the biggest cryptocurrency increased, James started to appeal to the council in Wales to allow him in carrying out a massive operation. An operation where he would dig in the city’s landfill and somehow get his hands on his lost wealth again.

The council meanwhile has repeatedly denied his requests, claiming that his plans put the local environment at risk. Now, James has reportedly secured funding and relevant expertise to set up the operation.

“The funding has been secured. We’ve brought on an AI specialist. Their technology can easily be retrained to search for a hard drive,” he recently told BBC.

He will also use robot dogs as security, so that no one could steal his hard drive, if and when it’s recovered.

The Facts of the Matter

According to a New York Times report from January 2021, of the 18.5 million bitcoin that were in circulation, around 20% of them, which amounted to $140 billion are lost in stranded wallets. Due to lost or forgotten keys, and misplaced hard drives, crypto holders have long been frustrated due to the amount of wealth they possess, but can’t really use them.

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Meet The Unluckiest Crypto Holder – James Howells

Among these crypto holders is James Howells – who reportedly owns £150 million worth in bitcoin. During an office clean up, Howells unwittingly threw an old laptop, that carried the crypto. The trash, which was treasure for Howells, was sent to the city’s landfill and has since stayed there.

Now, Howells has secured funding to get his hands back on his elusive wealth.

An IT engineer by profession, Howells has time after time appealed to the council of Wales to let him carry out a massive operation where he would dig out the landfill and recover his hard drive. However, citing environment issues, the council has denied his requests.

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Funding Secured, AI Specialist Brought in

However, with the new funding he has received, Howells is now hopeful of getting his bitcoin back. “Digging up a landfill is a huge operation in itself. The funding has been secured. We’ve brought on an AI specialist. Their technology can easily be retrained to search for a hard drive,” he was quoted saying.

What Makes Recovery of Hard Drive Challenging?

Speaking to BBC, Howells also mentioned how he got an environmental team on board, so that the landfill could be dug without risking the local environment.

The task is next to insurmountable, as the project would require his team to dig through hundreds of thousands of tonnes through the landfill which has gotten larger every year.

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AI, Robot Dogs – In Pursuit of Lost Bitcoin

He has secured funding where he now plans to make use of AI which will be connected to a mechanical arm that will sift through all the trash and rubbish and make sure the laptop he threw gets recovered.

Further, if he does get his hands on the laptop he threw away, his data recovery team on board will also take to the task.

And to make all of this super sci-fi and borderline outlandish, he plans to employ robot dogs as security, so that nothing could come between him and his hard drive.


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