Today cryptocurrency enthusiasts around the world are celebrating the notorious “Bitcoin Pizza Day” where two Papa John’s pizzas were purchased for 10,000 BTC. Not only is the transaction deemed the first bitcoin exchange for real-world value, the trade is now appraised at US$20 million at today’s exchange rates.
‘I Like Having Leftover Pizza to Nibble On Later’
The Bitcoin network had been in operation for a little more than a year on May 22nd, 2010 when a developer named Laszlo Hanyecz purchased two pizzas using the forum Bitcointalk.org. The trade Hanyecz made that day is widely celebrated every year by bitcoiners as it is considered the first real-world transaction using bitcoin as a medium of exchange.
“I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe two large ones, so I have some leftover for the next day — I like having leftover pizza to nibble on later,” explained Hanyecz.
You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I’m aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order or prepare it myself, kind of like ordering a ‘breakfast platter’ at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you’re happy!
It Took Two Days for Someone to Accept the 10,000 BTC for Pizza Offer
After Hanyecz had published his post, a few bitcoin enthusiasts talked about making the trade with him. A couple of people contemplated a few ways they could get the pizza to Hanyecz who was living in Florida at the time. A whole day passed, and Hanyecz writes “So nobody wants to buy me a pizza? — Is the bitcoin amount I’m offering too low?”
I just think it would be interesting if I could say that I paid for a pizza in bitcoins
Another 24 hours later Hanyecz announces that a successful transaction was made thanks to a user named “Jercos.” “I just want to report that I successfully traded 10,000 bitcoins for pizza,” the developer tells people on the thread. A few commenters thought it was great the exchange happened and congratulated Hanyecz that day. The 73-page thread discussion has been kept alive for years, with people commenting on how expensive the pizzas became as time had passed.
‘It Wasn’t Like Bitcoins Had Value Back Then’
Years later the transaction is considered one of the greatest moments in Bitcoin history and the two pizzas purchased for $25 USD is now worth over $20 million. Hanyecz did an interview with the New York Times a few years later reminiscing about the infamous day.
“It wasn’t like Bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool,” Hanyecz told the publication.
Today as bitcoiners celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day they’ll always wonder how those pizza’s tasted and whether or not Hanyecz really doesn’t regret eating the most expensive pizzas sold on the planet. As long as the pizza didn’t have weird toppings like fish, Hanyecz was pleased with his decision to offer 10,000 BTC for two pies.
“I like things like onions, peppers, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni, etc.. just standard stuff no weird fish topping or anything like that. I also like regular cheese pizzas which may be cheaper to prepare or otherwise acquire,” Hanyecz said at the time.
Celebrating This Year’s Festivities
There will be a lot of people enjoying Bitcoin Pizza Day in 2017 as the decentralized currency is more popular than ever before. There are businesses such as the Bitcoin Store featuring specialty pizza-themed goods, and some merchants are offering discounts like the artist Satoshi Gallery.
Additionally, the German-based bitcoin banking startup Bitwala recently started a campaign so the cryptocurrency community can donate pizza slices using bitcoin to refugee kids in Berlin. All the proceeds will go to Champions Ohne Grenzen, a Berlin-based NGO that works with children. Every week they hold football training sessions with qualified coaches to empower kids and help them overcome trauma. People from all around the world sent in their donations and the money received will help provide more than 100 slices to the refugee children.
“The fact that someone halfway around the world can have pizza delivered to war fleeing refugees without having to enter credit card info is a great and humane way to explain the power of bitcoin,” explained Bitwala’s CEO Jörg von Minckwitz.
What do you think about the two pizzas sold for 10,000 BTC? Would you have regretted this decision now? Let us know what you think in the comments below.