Nearly Ten Years After the Rise of Bitcoin, Who Is Left Standing?

Twitter icon  •  Published 1 year ago  •  Nikolas Sargeant

Cryptocurrencies have been at the forefront of a major shift in financial markets and technology. Several early players have been active since the early days, contributing to the growth of the industry and shaping its future.

Cryptocurrencies have been at the forefront of a major shift in financial markets and technology. Several early players have been active since the early days, contributing to the growth of the industry and shaping its future. 

The Early Days of Bitcoin

Bitcoin's history dates back to 2008 when the pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, published a whitepaper outlining the concept of a decentralized digital currency. The first Bitcoin transaction took place in 2009, but it wasn't until 2013-2014 that the first major players began to launch platforms for trading.

The early years of the cryptocurrency industry were fraught with challenges, including regulatory confusion and hacking incidents that led to significant losses. Yet, despite these hurdles, the industry pioneers persevered, creating opportunities for innovation and growth.

In its early days, Bitcoin was mainly used by tech enthusiasts and libertarians. However, it gained wider attention in 2013-2014 when some of the first major players in the cryptocurrency industry launched platforms for trading. These included companies like Coinbase, Bitstamp, and Kraken, which made it easier for individuals to buy and sell Bitcoin using fiat currencies.

Challenges Surfaced, And Pioneers Overcame

However, the cryptocurrency industry has faced many challenges over the years. One of the biggest has been the confusion and uncertainty around regulation. Many governments and financial regulators have struggled to develop a coherent framework for regulating Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Another major challenge has been the issue of hacking and theft. Bitcoin is stored in digital wallets; if they are not adequately secured, they can be vulnerable to hackers. Several high-profile instances exist of exchanges being hacked and millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin being stolen.

BitMEX: A Testament to Security and Reliability

One of the most notable players in the cryptocurrency world is BitMEX, a cryptocurrency exchange and derivatives trading platform launched in 2014. BitMEX stands out due to its impressive track record of securing customer funds. Unlike other exchanges, such as the infamous Coincheck, which lost over $500 million in customer funds in 2018, BitMEX has not lost any cryptocurrency since its inception.

BitMEX's success in safeguarding user funds is a testament to the importance of robust security measures in the cryptocurrency industry. Furthermore, its achievements have set a high standard for other exchanges, emphasizing the need to prioritize user trust and confidence.

Syscoin: Pioneering Interoperability and Innovation

Another early player in the cryptocurrency space is Syscoin. This project launched in 2014 intending to combine the security of Bitcoin with the flexibility and functionality of other blockchain platforms like Ethereum and their smart contracts. Syscoin's platform offers a scalable and secure infrastructure for decentralized applications (dApps) and asset tokenization.

Syscoin has continued to innovate by integrating Zero-Knowledge (ZK) and Rollup technology, enhancing privacy and scalability for its users. In addition, Syscoin recently expanded its ecosystem by creating Sys Labs, a separate entity from the Syscoin Foundation.

Sys Labs has actively acquired and collaborated with other established projects in the space. One such example was the recent acquisition of Fortknoxster, an OG crypto project focused on secure communication and storage solutions. The acquisition will lead to developing an AI-based SuperDapp, showcasing Sys Labs' commitment to innovation and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in blockchain.

A Booming Crypto Ecosystem

In addition to its increasing value, Bitcoin has become more widely adopted as a means of payment and a store of value. Many businesses, particularly in the tech industry, now accept Bitcoin as payment. Some investors see it as a digital version of gold – a hedge against inflation and economic uncertainty.

The growth of the cryptocurrency industry has also led to the development of many other digital assets, including Ethereum, Ripple, and Litecoin. These coins offer different features and use cases compared to Bitcoin and have their own communities of users and investors. However, many coins have come and gone over the past decade, a trend that will likely continue for the foreseeable future. 


The cryptocurrency industry has come a long way since the early days of Bitcoin. Despite numerous challenges, pioneers such as BitMEX and Syscoin have demonstrated unwavering commitment and credibility, contributing to the growth and development of the industry. Their successes serve as a reminder of the potential that lies in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

These trailblazers have set the stage for a new era of innovation that will likely continue to shape the future of finance and technology for years to come. 

As the industry evolves, it is crucial to recognize the efforts of these early players and the foundations they have built, enabling the next generation of innovators to take cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology to new heights.


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Nikolas Sargeant

Nik is a content and public relations specialist with an ever-growing interest in Crypto. He has been published on several leading Crypto and blockchain based news sites. He is currently based in Spain, but hails from the Pacific Northwest in the US.