The history of Bitcoin Pizza Day is one of the most historic stories in technology, but even if you know the price of Bitcoin pizza, these facts might surprise you.
May 22nd is now forever known as Bitcoin Pizza Day. This holiday marks the date in 2010 when the first real good was bought with the first decentralized digital money.
However, like any public holiday, be it Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day, Bitcoin Pizza Day could say more about those celebrating it today than the actual historical facts. Indeed, there are those who see the vacation as a thing of the past or even against the values of the Bitcoin community.
What remains true is that until May 2010, Bitcoin had a small but growing economy, where Bitcoin was still largely peer-to-peer and traded on a few small exchanges.
Laszlo Hanyecz, an early developer and miner, was keen to push the boundaries of Bitcoin trading further, calling for people to be ready and willing to pay 10,000 BTC for two pizzas in case anyone should be ready to put it into the To start trading.
Bitcoin user Jeremy “Jercos” Sturdivant would agree to the terms, and two cakes from Papa John would arrive at Hanyecz shortly afterwards. History was made – but some supporting facts have been lost to this day.
In honor of the 11th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day, we’ve compiled a list of lesser-known facts about perhaps the most famous Bitcoin holidays.
At this year’s Bitcoin price high of $ 63,000, the two pizzas were worth $ 630 million.
1) 10,000 BTC was worth only $ 41 at the time of purchase
Bitcoin user ender_X says it’s difficult to get data on the early Bitcoin economy, but Hanyecz could have exchanged his bitcoin for US dollars on an exchange … around $ 41 to be precise. If the numbers are correct, the price per bitcoin at the time of sale is roughly $ 0.004 – or four-thousandths of a cent.
While that number isn’t exactly zero, the price of ender_X was low enough to believe Hanyecz could do better for business. His post ended with the joke: “Good luck with receiving your free pizza.”
2) Hanyecz had to wait four days to get his cakes
Sure, it’s not as impressive as Satoshi, who waited almost eleven months for Bitcoin to set a price, but by conventional food delivery standards, Hanyecz waited a while for his order.
In fact, on Tuesday May 18, Hanyecz first posted on the Bitcoin.org forums:
“I’m paying 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas. Like maybe two big ones, so I have something left for the next day. I like having leftover pizza to nibble on later … if you are interested please let me know and we can work out a deal. “
Still, he didn’t get his pizza until Saturday. By Friday, some had even been tricked into checking out Hanyecz’s health, and user BitcoinFX asked if he was getting “hungry”.
“I just think it would be interesting if I could say I paid for a pizza with bitcoins,” Hanyecz replied.
Jercos would help him complete the delivery the next day. The transaction took place around 2:16 p.m. EST, according to Bitcoin Talk.
3) Hanyecz bought more than two pizzas for Bitcoin
Hanyecz didn’t stop with just two pizzas, however. Attracted by the reaction, Hanyecz attempted to move the limit in June, adding that the deal was “an open offer”.
“I’ll exchange 10,000 BTC for 2 of these pizzas anytime as long as I have the money (I usually have enough),” he wrote on June 12th. “If anyone is interested, please let me know.”
There were rumors that there were other exchanges for pizza orders and there are indications that this may be the case as Hanyecz closed its open offer in August.
“Well, I didn’t expect this to be that popular, but I can’t afford to keep doing it as I can no longer generate thousands of coins a day,” he wrote. “Thank you to everyone who has bought me pizza, but I’m holding back to make more for now.”
That doesn’t mean he has left his past as a pizza shopper behind. In 2018, Laszlo was the first to buy a pizza over the Lightning Network, even though he was only paying 0.00649 BTC at the time.
4) Jercos eventually sold his Bitcoin
As the holidays grew on Bitcoin Pizza Day, it wasn’t long before Jeremy “Jercos” Sturdivant was back in the spotlight. He would give his only interview in 2015, five years after trading, on a website called Bitcoin Who’s Who.
To the likely dismay of the current HODLer, Sturdivant said “a currency is about to be spent” at the time, noting that the 10,000 BTC he received “quickly returned to the economy” when they totaled about $ 400 had.
“Of course there will always be people hoarding coins and trying to get rich, and some people got pretty rich, but they wouldn’t have gotten this way without economic growth,” he said, noting that what was meant was a PayPal or Bitcoin Stripe to be more like.
Sturdivant added some more notable details on the transaction, which he believed closed via IRC, while discovering that he was only 19 years old at the time of the trade.
5) Bitcoin Pizza Day wasn’t celebrated very much at first
While Bitcoin Pizza Day is widely known today, there is little record of celebrations before 2014. Not surprisingly, given that Bitcoin awareness was low prior to 2013.
It appears that Hanyecz’s story was popularized in part by an article in the New York Times and subsequently supported by a blog and a tweet from @Bitcoin’s Twitter handle in 2014.
Because of the price of Bitcoin, which then cost $ 1,000, the story was published nationwide in the United States. Big media outlets like ABC News have joined TechCrunch, Slate and The Wall Street Journal to publicize the deal.
However, as seen in the WSJ post, there was a certain bias, with the holiday being popularized to scold “Bitcoin hoarders” who wanted to use the technology as a store of value as opposed to a payment method, a voltage under the users who continue to this day,
6) Bitcoin Pizza Day was not the first “Bitcoin Holiday”
Right, bitcoiners have created holidays for almost as long as the technology has existed, the first commemorative date set in 2011.
At the time, Bitcoin users were keen to mark the disappearance of Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, who recently stepped down from his role as project leader and declared April 28, 2011 “Satoshi Disappear Day”.
“I suggest we take a bitcoin vacation in honor of our legendary anonymous founder and observe the fact that the bitcoin community will be fine after the inventor of bitcoin goes,” user Kiba wrote at the time.
Although Bitcoin Pizza Day happened a little earlier, it took some time to become a public holiday, most likely because the price hadn’t really gone up yet. It’s also worth noting that Bitcoin Pizza Day in some ways coincides with the “Bitcoin for Payments” narrative that was pushed by industry companies from 2014-2016.
7) You can still see the pictures of the real bitcoin pizzas
Wondering what multi-million dollar pizzas actually looked like? I don’t wonder anymore.
Thanks to Hanyecz’s penchant for photography, we’ve well documented what these expensive cakes looked like when they were consumed in 2010.
Hanyecz posted a total of five pictures of his food that feature a variety of less-than-traditional toppings, including olives, jalapeños, whole tomatoes, and more.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.