According to Business Insider, it’s been nearly a decade since Howells started fighting with Newport’s city council in an attempt to obtain permission to dig for his precious hard drive. But former IT worker didn’t give up on his aim to get his hands on the enormous digital wealth. Now Howells hopes to persuade the council with a new $11m deal to search up to 110,000 tons of garbage.
The unlucky bitcoiner has two plans depending on how much garbage he would be allowed to search. The most extensive option would involve scouring 100,000 metric tons over the course of three years at a cost of $11 million. A more budget version would cost $6 million and take 18 months.
A team of eight experts assembled by Howells includes specialists in AI-powered sorting, landfill excavation, waste management, and data extraction. According to his plan, machines would dig up the garbage, while the AI algorithm trained to spot hard drives would sort out resembling objects. Additionally, two Boston Dynamics’ robot dogs would aid searches and patrol the site at night to deter potential treasure hunters.
After the search for lost bitcoins is over, all garbage would be cleaned and recycled as much as possible. The rest would be reburied.
"We do not want to damage the environment in any way," Howells told BI journalist. "If anything, we want to leave everything in a better condition."