One of the oldest bitcoin exchanges that is still around today operating successfully is The Rock Trading. Based in Malta, The Rock Trading launched in June 2011 after being a virtual business in Second Life. After the fall of virtual worlds, mainly due to their centralized economies, it evolved into a full featured bitcoin exchange.
Two Italian entrepreneurs founded the exchange, Davide Barbieri and Andrea Medri. When asked what sets The Rock Trading apart from their competitors, Medri said,
“In a trustless world, we succeeded in building strong trust relationship with our customers, something that it’s not that easy to find in the Bitcoin ecosystem; we are the oldest Bitcoin exchange still alive, and we never had security issues or losses. The Rock Trading focuses especially on the European market, often left behind by our competitors. Moreover, we can leverage our strong banking relationships, in order to improve our customer’s experience.”
On The Rock Exchange, users can fund their accounts using SEPA, Wire, OkPay, Ripple and can use EUR, GBP, and USD currencies. They also have additional features such as built-in wallet and a prepaid card funded by your account balance. Barbieri noted that 70% of their customers are Europeans, and Italy is the most frequent country of origin; most of their EU customers use SEPA transfers. Just last month the exchange added margin trading and Ethereum as part of their continual improvement process to stay competitive in the market. Last year the exchange platform processed over $20 million in Euro ($22 million in USD).
In discussing their history and reasons for being based in Malta, Medri went on to say,
“When we started The Rock Trading, one of our goals was (and still is) a full compliance with regards to the current European legal framework. Malta was a natural choice, since it’s an EU country, it has Euro as the legal currency and is not a blacklisted country. Moreover, in Malta we found a bank that was willing to cooperate with The Rock Trading.”
And the secret to The Rock Trading success over the years? Barbieri attributed it to,
“Trust. Trust bonds between us, our team, our customers and partners. Trust is definitely our secret.”
Another bitcoin exchange that has been around for a long time and is still operational is CampBX, which also launched officially in June 2011. They too have had success over the years, but have fallen off the radar due to lack of innovation, and about a year ago users began to complain about customer trading and withdrawal issues. As such, the exchange has received very poor community feedback and ratings, currently one of the lowest exchange ratings on the market.
We had the chance to briefly speak with the founder of CampBX, Keyur Mithawala, who told us that CampBX isn’t out of the game just yet, and is still an operational trading platform, albeit with almost no trading volume anymore. Mithawala faulted the low volume on disabling ACH transfers back in 2014. However, Mithawala remained hopeful, saying that the exchange plans to re-enable ACH transfers in the second half of 2016.