It is the 9th anniversary of the now legendary incident when Florida-based programmer Laszlo Hanyecz spent 10,000 bitcoins (BTC) which is equivalent to approximately US$80 million today to buy two pizzas.
The transaction, which was widely considered the first documented purchase of a tangible good or service using Bitcoin, took place on May 22, 2010 and has since been celebrated each year as ‘Bitcoin Pizza Day’.
The beginning of Bitcoin payment
Spending 10,000 BTC on two pizzas seems to be outrageous by today’s standards, given the cost would now be just under US$80 million! But that simple transaction was the start of giving real utility to what was until then just an experiment in creating an alternative store of value.
Nine years ago, Hanyecz was running just one of the computers helping to maintain the Bitcoin network and in return he was receiving bitcoin. However, there wasn’t much he could do with it back in 2010. So he went on an internet chat forum and asked whether anyone would be willing to buy him some pizza in exchange for 10,000 units of the currency. Eventually,18 year student Jeremy Sturdivant decided he would take on the deal and the first purchase of tangible goods with Bitcoin was completed.
Unfortunately for Hanyecz, he sold the rest of his Bitcoins as the price reached US$1, netting himself about US$4,000.
To celebrate how far Bitcoin has come, the Bitcoin Pizza Index provides daily updates on the value of 10,000 Bitcoins at today’s market price.
Establishing Bitcoin as a legit currency
Whilst it is easy in hindsight to point out Hanyecz would have been a lot richer if he hadn’t blown 10,000 BTC on pizza, he chooses to focus on the bigger picture.
In a recent media interview, Hanyecz said he did not regret buying those pizzas and that his purchase helped legitimize Bitcoin and demonstrate its use case as a store of value and a means of payment . He said he is proud to have been an early backer of the digital asset, and that the now legendary fable of buying the pizza in BTC serves as a reminder that the digital asset was originally invented to be used just like that.
The adaptation of bitcoin as a payment method has taken off
Ever since that first-ever recorded transaction of Bitcoin for a physical good, the use case for the currency has taken off with customers now able to use Bitcoin for real estate, online shopping, airplane bookings and, of course, pizza! Today, the number of businesses that accept Bitcoin as a payment for goods and services keeps growing.
Pizza Day reflects just how far the digital asset space has evolved. Bitcoin was unknown just over a decade ago, and today it is one of the most talked about financial instruments in the market. Without the inaugural purchase made by Hanyecz, the value and adaptation of Bitcoin might not have taken off in quite the same way. That “costly” purchase should be celebrated!
Happy Bitcoin Pizza Day everyone!