Bitcoin Pizza Day: The Historic Event That Paved the Way for Bitcoin Adoption

May 22 is widely known in the community as Bitcoin Pizza Day, marking the event in 2010 when real-world goods were first purchased using the then-nascent cryptocurrency – Bitcoin.

In an effort to promote recognition for Bitcoin, Laszlo Hanyecz, a developer and one of the earliest BTC miners, made a call that he would gladly pay 10,000 BTC for two pizzas if someone would accept the transaction.

Another Bitcoin user named Jeremy “Jercos” Sturdivant stepped forward and promptly had two Papa John’s pizzas delivered to Hanyecz’s doorstep. Little did anyone know that it would become a historic event in the crypto industry, although some details have been lost over time.

To commemorate the 13th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day, AZCoin News has compiled a list of lesser-known facts about this famous event and related anniversary dates in Bitcoin’s history.

If we consider the highest Bitcoin price this year at $69,000, those two pizzas would be worth $690 million.

10,000 BTC was worth only $41 at the time of purchase data about Bitcoin’s early days is scarce, according to Bitcoin user ender_X, Hanyecz may have traded his Bitcoin on an exchange for approximately $41. If the figures are accurate, it means that 1 BTC was worth only $0.004 at the time of the transaction.

Although the exact price was not 0, the value was low enough for ender_X to think that Hanyecz got a pretty good deal, ending his post with the words, “Enjoy your free pizza!”

As shown in the chart provided by Kyros Ventures below, readers can see how much Bitcoin’s value has appreciated over the past 11 years.

Source: Kyros Ventures

Hanyecz had to wait 4 days to receive the pizzas, it’s not as impressive as Satoshi waiting nearly 11 months for Bitcoin to officially have value, but by regular food delivery standards, Hanyecz had to wait quite a while for his order.

In fact, Hanyecz first posted on the Bitcoin.org forum on Tuesday, May 18, with the following message:

“I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later. 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!”

The conversation about the two pizzas on Bitcoin.org

However, Hanyecz didn’t receive his pizza until Saturday. A day earlier, some people even jokingly inquired about Hanyecz’s well-being, with BitcoinFX asking if he was “starving.”

“I just think it would be interesting if I could say that I paid for a pizza in bitcoins,” Hanyecz replied.

Jercos would help him fulfill the delivery the next day, with the transaction taking place around 2:16 p.m. EST, according to records archived on Bitcoin Talk.

Hanyecz bought more than just 2 pizzas with Bitcoin

However, Hanyecz didn’t stop at just two pizzas. Intrigued by the possibilities of this new currency, in June, Hanyecz added to his post that the deal was “an open offer.”

“I’ll trade 10,000 BTC for 2 of these pizzas anytime like if I have enough BTC (I have plenty),” he wrote on June 12. “If anyone is interested, please let me know.”

Rumors have circulated that additional pizza orders were exchanged for Bitcoin, and there is evidence to support these claims. In fact, Hanyecz extended his offer in June, stating that he would trade 10,000 BTC for two more pizzas whenever he had enough BTC to spare.

There are indications that other pizza transactions took place, and some evidence suggests that Hanyecz fulfilled his offer in August. He expressed surprise at the growing popularity of the Bitcoin pizza story, stating that he couldn’t continue the practice due to the inability to generate thousands of Bitcoins every day. However, he expressed gratitude to all those who bought pizzas for him but announced that he would temporarily halt such transactions.

Despite temporarily pausing his pizza-related endeavors, Hanyecz didn’t completely leave behind his pizza-buying past. In 2018, he became the first person to purchase a pizza using the Lightning Network, though he only had to pay 0.00649 BTC at the time.

It took three years after the first Bitcoin Pizza Day for the event to gain significant attention. Prior to 2014, almost no one mentioned this event. This lack of recognition is unsurprising, considering that Bitcoin awareness was relatively low before 2013.

Hanyecz’s story gained some publicity through an article in The New York Times, and it was further propelled by the Bitcoin price reaching the $1,000 threshold. The story became popular in the United States, with major media outlets such as ABC News, TechCrunch, Slate, and The Wall Street Journal contributing to the reputation of Bitcoin.

If you’re curious about what these multimillion-dollar pizzas looked like, you’re in luck. Hanyecz, being somewhat of a “virtual living,” posted a total of five pictures of his meals. They appeared to be traditional cheese pizzas with olives, jalapeños, whole tomatoes, and bacon as toppings.

Bitcoin Pizza Day remains one of the most memorable events in the cryptocurrency market. It marks the first time that cryptocurrencies were used to purchase real-world goods, igniting belief in the unlimited potential of this technology. As the years pass, the significance and impact of Bitcoin Pizza Day continue to be celebrated, reminding us of the fascinating history behind this groundbreaking event.

Happy #BitcoinPizzaDay, everyone! If you’re celebrating, tag @azcoinnews and send us photos of your pizza feasts.

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