The wallet was created around Feb 2013, using unknown wallet software. All that is known is a passprase, and 15 words. I suspect the passphrase was used to encrypt the wallet, and is probably irrelevant here, since the wallet file itself is lost.

All words are found in the "old" Electrum list. But the number 15 is puzzling, since no version of Electrum ever produced 15 words by default, as far as I know. I considered the possibility that this mnemonic was extended with custom words, but it looks like custom words in Electrum work only with the "new" word list.

I cloned Electrum repository from github and tried converting mnemonic to hex seed using the old list, then converting it back to mnemonic using the "new" word list. This method produces 15 words that Electrum GUI does recognize as 12 + 3 (extended), but leads to empty wallet.

My working hypothesis: there ought to be another wallet software that existed around 2013 that used Electrum's "old" word list and generated 15 words by default. Any other ideas or suggestions?

  • 1
    Finally a good wallet-recovery question. A +1 from me. I hope it helps attracting people who can help you. Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 21:03
  • By any chance, could it be that 4 years ago you invented your own way of making a private key from 15 words and that you forget you did that? Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 21:37
  • Does blockchain.info ring a bell? Give it a try blockchain.info/wallet/forgot-password?guid=
    – Chak
    Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 22:08
  • 1
    I am aware of this tool. It is unfortunately broken (aside from violating the first rule of mnemonic - to never enter it on a web site). Try to enter 'drama' (one of the words in my mnemonic) and watch it error out.
    – user443854
    Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 22:16
  • If your 15 words really are from blockchain.info, then this is the only way to recover it, as the old legacy mnemonic phrase is not the same as HD wallet "recovery phrase. The error you get is because you need to enter at least 3 words, I haven't looked over the whole source file, but I assume it is some kind of a checksum. Of course it has to be done online, how else is blockchain able to fetch your wallet-id and password for you? You can disregard this, if your 15 words are from somewhere else.
    – Chak
    Commented Dec 13, 2017 at 23:02

3 Answers 3


Mnemonic phrase from 2015 or earlier, and not an Electrum seed?

Then there is a high probability it is blockchain.info's legacy wallet recovery mnemonic.
Which can be recovered here https://blockchain.info/wallet/forgot-password

Correction: This is a blockchain.info mnemonic. It contains your WALLET ID and Password (pre 2013 contains only Password and/or password plus alias)

You can decrypt the mnemonic using blockchain.com webpage they have a legacy (HD is only 12 words) page which changes from time to time.

With that you can login to your account and access your coins.


This could also be coinomi (an android app HD wallet that supports many currencies, including ETH). They used a 15 word seed. They have a recovery tool here, https://coinomi.com/recovery-phrase-tool.html -- or use can use their app again to unlock. AFAIK no other vendor seems to quite support restoring their phrases -- but you can use their tool to derive the private keys.


Probably a BIP39 mnemonic. See, for example, https://iancoleman.io/bip39/

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