I am trying to recall/determine if the coins I had on a USB stick was indeed bitcoins or not. I sold an Item a long time ago (Either 2006ish or 2009-2010) and someone offered to pay me in coins. Of course I laughed about it back then but decided to do it since it was like 100 bucks. He gave me two types of coin, first one he called old and he gave me around 12-14k of it and then he also gave me a new type of coin 3-4k of them. I recalled it had a Japanese name cause I thought he was joking. Years later I eventually found that USB stick and saw a folder with the old coins which at that point from what I read online had zero value and was shutdown by the govt. But there was another file with random words on there. I recall a few of these words and they are all in the Legacy ELECTRUM dictionary. At the time I forgot that I had gotten two types of coin and ended up deleted everything. Recently I the piece of paper popped up out of no where and once again I was forgot about it and ended up throwing it away. I took pictures of it but it was so blurry I deleted them as well.

I have been trying to backtrack my timeline to see if I really did lose millions in bitcoins due to pure stupidity. I have been dealing with an overwhelming feeling of grief and guilt recently and I am hoping with the help of you nice folks I can put an end to this. At this point I would rather hear what I had was not bitcoins.

So really the questions that needs to be answer to know the truth.

  1. Was bitcoin the first to use a seed phrase design.

  2. Going by the amount of coins I got it would mean the value of bitcoin at the time was still very low. If it is bitcoin then the only timeframe that make sense would have been around 2009 up to mid 2010. When you create a bitcoin account by then, do you get a seed phrase or was it just a private key back then. From what I read the first wallet to use seed phrase was ELECTRUM so if that is true then what I had can't be bitcoins.

  3. Was there a timeframe when 2 types of virtual coins existed at same time. values for these coins were really low.. 14k = 100 bucks or so..

The things that points to what I had was bitcoin - seed phrase and a sheet of paper with what looks like a private key. Also the words I recall in the text file are in the legacy ELECTRUM seed phrase dictionary.

The things that do not point it as bitcoin. Per info online, ELECTRUM did not come out till 2013 so there is no way when he sent me those coins they were bitcoin. Assuming no seed phrases were used for bitcoin prior.

I have try to look online for any info that could prove or disapprove these questions but I feel a lot of info has been lost over time. Hopefully someone on here that has been around for a long time knows the answer. Thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2


Was bitcoin the first to use a seed phrase design.

I've no idea whether Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency for which there was a wallet that supported a system of seed-phrases.

Not all Bitcoin wallets support seed-phrases. Notably the reference implementation Bitcoin- Core does not yet support seed phrases.

BIP39 - Mnemonic code for generating deterministic keys was defined or published on 2013-09-10.

According to Electrum their seed-phrase system was introduced two years earlier?

When you create a bitcoin account by then, do you get a seed phrase

Not in general.

Nor do you create a bitcoin account in general.

The archetypal process is to download a wallet program such as Bitcoin core and the first time you run it, it will generate a private-key. Wallets that support seed-phrases will instead generate a seed-phrase when first run and generate a private key from that.

Was there a timeframe when 2 types of virtual coins existed at same time.

Probably. I suspect the number of cryptocurrencies went from one cryptocurrency to thousands of cryptocurrencies in a very short period of time.


Note that questions about any cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin would be off-topic here.

  • Thank you for your reply. I also found similar info online to what you have provided. All I can do is to continue to do research.
    – Jimmy Yu
    Jul 23, 2020 at 3:55

I think you are grasping at straws. There were no deterministic wallets back in 2010. Electrum was released in late 2011. Besides you don't have the words so what difference does it make?

If you want to pursue this attempt to recover the files on the USB drive. Then you have something substantial to work with.

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