Bitcoin Pizza Day is celebrated on May 22nd among the Bitcoin community. This is because it marks the 10th anniversary of what may be the most well-known Bitcoin transaction ever. It was also the first time Bitcoin has been used to purchase a physical item. The Bitcoin pizza tale demonstrates how Bitcoin has grown from obscurity to a class of assets valued at hundreds of billions of dollars.
Let’s travel back in time to see what Bitcoin was like on May 22, 2010, the day of the transaction. The first Bitcoin block was mined on January 3, 2009.
The Bitcoin community was largely made up of a tiny handful of supporters at the time. The bitcointalk.org forum was the major location where people discussed Bitcoin back then, and it still is now.
The “Bitcoin pizza guy” was Laszlo Hanyecz, an early user and code developer who went by the name “laszlo” on the Bitcoin forum. He posted a message promising 10,000 BTC to anybody who brought him two pizzas.
The community was first unconcerned about it. Lazlo wrote after three days, “So no one is going to get pizza for me? Do you believe the bitcoin number I proposed is too low?”
A person called “jercos” soon after provided Laszlo Hanyecz with two pizzas in return for 10,000 BTC.
Hanyecz appeared to like the pizzas, as he continued to hand them out to everyone who would accept them. He pointed out that swapping 10,000 BTC for two pizzas was an excellent bargain since two pizzas typically cost between $25 and $30. Most people felt 10,000 BTC was worth about $40 at the time.
It didn’t take long for Bitcoin’s price to rise
Even while it was difficult to determine the actual value of Bitcoin at the time of the Bitcoin-for-pizza sale, statistics revealed that it was worth less than $0.01 per unit. There was no active market for Bitcoin at the time, hence there was no fixed price for BTC.
The price of Bitcoin had already risen significantly by August 2010, when a user called “Knightmb” noted that 10,000 BTC were now worth $600. Hanyecz concluded it was past time to decline the offer.
“I wasn’t expecting this to be that popular, but I can’t keep doing it since I can’t generate as many coins every day as I used to:). Thanks to everyone who has already purchased pizza for me; but, I will not be purchasing any more for the time being.
What’s done is always done
At the present pricing, 10,000 Bitcoins would cost more than $290 million.
Hanyecz seems to be a great person about the issue, even though no one can blame him for being annoyed that he spent BTC on various items and services instead of “HODLing” in the early days. Hanyecz stated his views:
“You know, I don’t regret it. I think that it’s great that I got to be part of the early history of Bitcoin in that way, and people know about the pizza and it’s an interesting story because everybody can kind of relate to that and be [like] – “Oh my God, you spent all of that money!” I was also kind of giving people tech support on the forums and I ported Bitcoin to MacOS, and you know, some other things – fix bugs and whatnot, and I’ve always kind of just wanted people to use Bitcoin and buying the pizza was one way to do that.”