SMTP wasn't the first email protocol. If you want to use that analogy, bitcoin would be maybe uucp, which hasn't gone to zero but obviously lost its market share.
Can you think of a single example of a protocol that was the first big mover in a new technology, that didn't eventually lose out to competitors? In theory those competitors could have adapted to overcome shortcomings, too. In practice, that's not how it happens. You might be right, and bitcoin could be the first, but I don't see any rational reason to expect it when historical precedents are all pointing in the opposite direction.
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