A Newport resident is planning to file a lawsuit against the city’s local council after accidentally disposing of a hard drive containing 8,000 Bitcoin (BTC). The investor has been trying to retrieve his lost Bitcoin for a decade, but the local authorities have refused his request to dig up a landfill site due to concerns about environmental harm. James Howells, the investor, has taken legal measures to try and recover his lost Bitcoin, but the Newport City Council has been unyielding.
Howells expressed frustration at the city council’s lack of cooperation, stating, “I’ve tried everything I can for 10 years, they didn’t want to play ball, so now we have to go down the legal route. There’s $500m sitting in the ground and they won’t even have a serious conversation about it. It doesn’t matter what that item is, whether it is Bitcoin, gold, or diamonds, to not even have the conversation is idiotic.”
In 2013, Howells accidentally threw away a hard drive containing 8,000 BTC, which he had mined in 2009 during a cleanup activity. Since then, he has been making efforts to locate and retrieve his lost Bitcoin, believed to be buried deep in a landfill site. However, the Newport City Council has consistently denied his requests, citing potential environmental harm.
In 2022, Howells proposed an $11 million search operation to the local authority, which would involve the use of artificial intelligence (AI) machinery, robot dogs, and human labor. He also promised to distribute 60% of the recovered BTC to those who assisted in the excavation mission and give $60 worth of Bitcoin to every Newport resident, while keeping 30% for himself.
The value of Howells’ Bitcoin stash was over $550 million in November 2021 when Bitcoin’s price reached an all-time high. Currently, the crypto treasure is valued at approximately $205 million. Howells intends to sue for damages worth $557 million, matching the value of the lost Bitcoin at its peak price. He is also requesting a judicial review of the council’s decision to deny him access to the landfill site for the past 10 years.
Despite the investor’s efforts and threats of legal action, the Newport City Council remains firm in its stance. A spokesperson stated, “Our position has not changed. We will be offering no further comments on this issue as it takes up valuable officer time which could be spent on delivering services for the residents of Newport.”
It is evident that this dispute between the Newport resident and the local council has reached an impasse, with both parties unwilling to budge. The legal battle over the lost Bitcoin stash continues, leaving the fate of the digital fortune uncertain.
Source: [The Telegraph](https://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/consumer-affairs/bitcoin-investor-who-lost-164m-in-landfill-to-sue-his-local/)
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