Definition of ‘Bitcoin Pizza’ - Bitcoin Pizza is now a celebrated holiday in the crypto world, thanks to the time back in 2010 when Laszlo Hanyecz agreed to pay 10,000 Bitcoins for two delivered Papa John's pizzas.
What is Bitcoin pizza?
Definition of Bitcoin Pizza - Bitcoin Pizza is now a celebrated holiday in the crypto world, thanks to the time back in 2010 when Laszlo Hanyecz agreed to pay 10,000 Bitcoins for two delivered Papa John's pizzas.
The rise of Bitcoin has been unlike anything we have ever seen before. Since its creation in 2008 by an unknown developer (or possibly a team of developers) under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the digital currency has exploded, spawning thousands of clones of varying success.
While many were quick to demonize the cryptocurrency market, it has enjoyed an enormous boom over the past few years. Leading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Binance Coin (BNB) grew from petty cash to life-changing sums of money.
The unpredictable nature of cryptocurrency has created a fair share of winners and losers. Some believers held their portfolios for over a decade in the hope it could be the break they were looking for. Others sought to build Bitcoin into a new way of paying for real-life items.
As is the case with many innovations, many assumed cryptocurrency would be nothing more than a fad, though that wouldn’t stop them from dabbling. This has led to countless crazy stories. Some tell a tale of success, others… not so much.
Not all Bitcoin blunders have been due to poor investment strategies, some stories have just aged like milk as the value of Bitcoin continues to reach new heights. One such story is the infamous Bitcoin Pizza.
In May 2010—barely a year after the launch of Bitcoin—a hungry investor from Florida made history by using Bitcoin to pay for a hearty meal.
On May 18th, an early Bitcoin adopter, Laszlo Hanyecz, posted on the Bitcoin.org forums, declaring his intentions: \
“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 … If you're interested please let me know and we can work out a deal.”
It would take a few days, but Hanyecz would succeed in his quest and made history by exchanging 10,000 Bitcoins for two large pizzas.
At the time, 10,000 Bitcoins were valued at around $41, far from the life-changing sum of money it would be today. However, while Hanyecz’s story is legendary in the cryptocurrency community, you have to imagine he is kicking himself when he looks back on the transaction. As of Jan 20, 2022, that same transaction would be worth a staggering $420,911,000, just a little bit more than two large pies.
This wouldn’t be the last time Hanyecz would use Bitcoin to buy pizza. Eight years after Bitcoin Pizza Day, he made history again by becoming the first person to use the Lightning network to buy… you guessed it, two large pizzas.
When is Bitcoin Pizza Day?
While some may chuckle at Hanyecz’s expense, no one could have predicted Bitcoin would be as valuable as it has become over just a decade. However, Bitcoin Pizza Day isn’t about hindsight and how much money he could have made. It’s a day to celebrate the potential cryptocurrency has.
Hanyecz may not have intended to make history—stating he thought “it would be interesting” to say he paid for pizza with Bitcoin—but the transaction will be remembered forever as the first instance of digital currency being used in a commercial transaction. Since then, May 22nd has been dubbed “Bitcoin Pizza Day”.
Is the Bitcoin Pizza story real?
Understandably, some people question the legitimacy of the Bitcoin Pizza story. The current value of that transaction causes many to wonder why someone would throw it away for a couple of pizzas.
The truth is, at the time, 10,000 Bitcoin was barely enough to buy two pizzas. Some commenters on the Bitcoin.org forums even joked that Hanyecz was getting free pizza!
So while it may seem like a tall tale, the Bitcoin Pizza story is 100% real. You can even read an interview with Jeremy Sturdivant (AKA “Jercos), the man who helped Hanyecz successfully make the purchase.
Does Bitcoin Pizza Guy still have Bitcoin?
As early adopters, Hanyecz and Sturdivant were able to buy Bitcoin before it hit a $0.01 valuation. Considering the value of Bitcoin is now in the tens of thousands, many are wondering if either of them is still holding.
Surprisingly, the answer is no. Despite their legacy, neither Haynecz nor Sturdivant are involved in Bitcoin anymore.
Sturdivant used the 10,000BTC he earned in the transaction to cover living expenses while traveling with his girlfriend. Though he is no doubt upset about missing out on being a millionaire, he is said to be happy to have taken part in the global phenomenon.
Haynecz sat down with Bitcoin Magazine in 2019 to tell his story about Bitcoin Pizza and how he came to invent GPU mining. In the interview, he stated he is no longer involved in Bitcoin, and while he doesn’t regret the purchase, he does tire of the story. Rather than being remembered as the man who made GPU mining possible, he is - and will likely always be - the Bitcoin Pizza Guy.
What did Papa John’s do with 10000 bitcoin?
Given the enormous valuation of 10,000BTC in 2022, many wonder what happened to all that digital cash. This is a tough question to answer, as the very nature of a decentralized currency makes it difficult to track down specific Bitcoins from specific transactions.
What we do know is that Papa John’s didn’t actually receive any Bitcoin. The transaction was made possible through a third party (Jercos) who ordered the pizza on Haynecz’s behalf after receiving the Bitcoin payment.
Blockchain analytics company Coinfirm has recently attempted to track the 10,000 BTC. They found that a large portion of those coins went into the now-defunct BTC-e exchange, while around 5% are sitting in one of the biggest Bitcoin wallets in existence.