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Bitcoin Pizza Day: 14 Years Ago Laszlo Hanyecz Bought Two Pizzas for 10,000 BTC, Now BTC Stands Near $70,000 

Last Updated May 22, 2024 1:44 PM
Shraddha Sharma
Last Updated May 22, 2024 1:44 PM

Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin Pizza Day celebrates the first real-world transaction using Bitcoin.
  • 14 years ago on May 22, 10,000 BTC bought two pizzas, now worth around $700m.
  • Bitcoin ETFs are now trading on major stock exchanges, highlighting its evolution.

Bitcoin Pizza Day is a major event for the cryptocurrency community as it marks the anniversary of the first real-world Bitcoin transaction.

14 years ago on May 22, a US-based programmer Laszlo Hanyecz purchased two pizzas for 10,000 BTC. At today’s prices, those pizzas would be valued at nearly $700m. 

The History of Bitcoin Pizza Day

On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz shared a post  on a Bitcoin forum, offering 10,000 BTC in exchange for two large pizzas. At that time, Bitcoin was a fledgling digital currency, and Hanyecz’s transaction was the first known instance of Bitcoin being used to purchase a real-world product. He posted:

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 leftover pizza to nibble on later.

After some back and forth on the forum, Hanyecz successfully traded 10,000 BTC for two pizzas from Papa John’s.

Back in 2010, one member of the community said, “It is so remarkable how far this economy has progressed in such a short time, This breaks every record that I can think of.

The transaction became a major milestone in the adoption of Bitcoin as a means of payment.

Bitcoin’s Incredible Journey

Since that historic transaction, Bitcoin has undergone a major transformation. Initially dismissed by many as a passing fad, Bitcoin has steadily gained acceptance and recognition. It has been called a scam, digital gold, and a monetary revolution. Regardless of the varying opinions, Bitcoin has increasingly become a mainstream financial asset.

In 2008, an anonymous entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin. The creation of Bitcoin laid the foundation for decentralized finance and digital currencies.

One of the significant milestones in Bitcoin’s journey to mainstream acceptance is the approval of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds. These financial instruments allow investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin without having to own the asset directly. Bitcoin ETFs have started trading on major stock exchanges, including the US markets, with London Stock Exchange expected to be the next market.

Bitcoin’s fixed supply is a crucial aspect of its value proposition. Since there will only ever be 21m Bitcoin, it mimics the scarcity of precious metals like gold. This limited supply has contributed to Bitcoin being referred to as “Digital Gold.”

Parth Chaturvedi, Head of Investments at CoinSwitch Ventures, told CCN, “Bitcoin Pizza Day is celebrated each year to mark the first ‘real world commercial transaction‘ using Bitcoin as a means of payment. Although in hindsight this might appear as the worst barter possible, back then this transaction was hailed by the nascent crypto community as a milestone for the adoption of crypto as an asset class.”

Eleonor Genova, Head of Communications at Nexo, reflects on Bitcoin’s evolution: “From the now-legendary Bitcoin pizza purchase in 2010 to Wall Street stacking the asset in 2024, it’s now time for the BTC emoji to become the latest quirky story in the chronicles of crypto history.”

In terms of price, Bitcoin has offered several overvalued zones in 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2021. Bitcoin price is inching towards $70K with a 12% rise in a week, contributing  to a market cap of over $1.3t.

BTC USD Price Chart | Source: TradingView
BTC USD Price Chart | Source: TradingView

Bitcoin’s Status Beyond Digital Gold

Economist Peter Schiff, a well-known Bitcoin critic, stated that the increase in gold and silver prices is more important than the rise in Bitcoin. He believes  that this focus on Bitcoin’s price rise is distracting US and European investors, causing them to miss out on investing in precious metals while they are still relatively cheap.

However, Bitcoin proponents argue that it is much more than digital gold. Bitcoin represents “The Future of Money” for some with the potential to disrupt the traditional financial system that is backed by the global reserve dollar.

As a “Borderless Currency,” Bitcoin could also transcend geographical limitations, making it accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Its programmable nature of blockchain technology also allows for never-ending innovation.

That said, the Bitcoin community is promoting it as “people’s money,” emphasizing on decentralized ownership. With the largest market cap among cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is frequently compared to the Federal Reserve, which struggles with inflation while continuing to print more money.

At the time of writing, nearly 19.7m is currently in circulation from the 21m total supply.

The Evolution Continues

Bitcoin Pizza Day serves as a reminder of Bitcoin’s humble beginnings. But its extraordinary rise to mainstream acceptance continues.

Today, Bitcoin is valued at around $70,000 as its adoption grows. Looking forwardBitcoin’s adoption is likely to expand further with the integration of Bitcoin ETFs in major stock exchanges. The growing recognition of Bitcoin as “Digital Gold” and a “Borderless Currency” also hints at its potential to reshape the position of USD.

While its programmable nature and decentralized ownership are often pitted as an alternative to traditional financial systems, Bitcoin’s features can also make it a companion to existing systems.

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