I purchased bitcoins in 2009 and then never really cared about it. The email address used to purchase the bitcoin is still used. However I don't have emails prior to 2010. Is there any way I can recover my bitcoins if I just have my email account?

Any help would be appreciated. This is all the information I have to share. I don't have anything more than an email address attached to that purchase.

  • 1
    Where did you purchase them? Most exchanges or marketplaces that were around years ago are gone unfortunately.
    – alcio
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 12:37
  • Were there even any exchanges or marketplaces in 2009? Mt.Gox didn't get into the game until 2010. Are you sure about the timing? If you have no further recollections about the process then I don't think we can help you. There is no standard way to buy Bitcoins "using" an email address. Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 13:16
  • In 2009 I would guess the only way to keep Bitcoin would have been to install the standard Bitcoin client (now Bitcoin Core) and keep the private keys yourself. In that case you would need a file called wallet.dat from the computer you were using at the time. If that's what you did, but you no longer have that computer nor any backups, you are out of luck. Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


If you used an email address then you must have had an account on an exchange that required an email address. However I am not sure if there were even exchanges in 2009. Bitcoin was incredibly new at that time and would have likely been worthless. If you had Bitcoin and there were an exchange to buy and sell Bitcoin at, then your Bitcoin would either be on that exchange or in a local wallet on your computer.

If your Bitcoin was on that exchange, you should try to figure out what exchange you had used. Unfortunately it is likely that if you did use an exchange that it has since ceased to exist, so even if you did figure out what exchange, you probably can't get your Bitcoin.

If your Bitcoin was on your computer, then you would have been using the satoshi client as that was the only wallet software at that time. This would have resulted in you having a file named wallet.dat that contains all of the information necessary for you to retrieve your Bitcoin. If you think you had withdrawn your Bitcoin from the exchange to a wallet software, then you should try to look for this file. If you do not have a wallet.dat file, then you have either lost it or your Bitcoin was never stored locally.

I think it is unlikely that you will be able to recover your Bitcoin. Whatever exchange you used is probably gone by now and it is likely that you no longer have or never had a wallet.dat file.

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