Back in 2010, on 22 May, Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 bitcoins for two Papa John’s pizzas and now that day is celebrated as Bitcoin Pizza Day.
At bitcoin’s best days when the price for one bitcoin was around USD 20,000, these two pizzas could have bought him a real Playboy Mansion!
Yes, the Playboy Mansion was priced at 200 million dollars in 2016.
That is just what you get when you multiply the number of bitcoins with the peak price in December of 2017.
Sounds crazy right?
Two lousy pizzas for a whole Playboy Mansion and it was still a good deal.
Let’s take a step back and see what happened there.
In the early days of bitcoin, beside Satoshi, there were just a few other guys involved in the project of creating the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency.
Laszlo Hanyecz, a Hungarian born software architect from Florida, was one of them.
He was well known in the early community as a guy who started mining bitcoin using GPU (graphics processing unit) instead of CPU (central processing unit).
With hacker mindset and his knowledge of computers, he discovered that GPU is much better for solving repetitive problems you need to solve to receive bitcoins.
Because of that, he was mining around 28 blocks per day, while others got one or two blocks at most. With 50 bitcoins per one block, he gained 1,400 coins in one day.
Eventually, he managed to gather more than 70,000 bitcoins on his computer!
If you think it was too much bitcoins – you are right.
Even Satoshi himself e-mailed Laszlo and asked him to stop taking all the coins.
Bitcoin project was suffering. There was less of an incentive for new people to join in if somebody was mining all of them.
And having that number of coins just sitting on a computer and doing nothing wasn’t something people were interested in. Bitcoin had to be used in a real world so it could become a currency.
At first, no one responded to his offer. Soon he tried again asking if the suggested amount of bitcoins was enough.
It might sound crazy today, but then when nobody knew that cryptocurrencies were about to become such a huge success, offering something like that was absurd.
On 22 May, an 18-year-old guy Jeremy Sturdivant, nicknamed Jercos on the forum, ordered two pizzas from Papa John’s to be sent to Laszlo’s address paying only $25 for them.
A few years later
I don’t think he could have ever imagined 25 bucks could make him a new Hugh Hefner seven years later. They didn’t, however. When asked how he used bitcoins gained from this transaction, Jercos told the Cointelegraph reporters that he “turned Hanyecz’s BTC into a Fiat for a trip when they were worth a couple of hundred dollars.”
If you are trying to figure out how much those two pizzas are worth today just look at this:
Because the price of bitcoins is so volatile, this profile shows you the price of those two pizzas every day.
Laszlo got his meal and paid 10,000 bitcoins to Jercos. That was the first time somebody used cryptocurrencies to buy a material thing.
In May 2018, for the eighth anniversary of this event, Cointelegraph interviewed Laszlo.
They asked him an obvious question: “Do you regret it?“
His answer might surprise you:
That’s why it was a good deal. And still is.
That transaction showed bitcoins could be used in real life, such as a Fiat currency.
Money’s most important function is to be a medium of exchange, and on that day Bitcoin achieved that purpose.
Because of that event, you can now buy pizza and many other things using Bitcoin.
It was a small price to pay for starting the future of money!