$41 to $300 million: Here’s the bizarre Bitcoin Pizza Day story

Lavina Daryanani
Source: Pixabay

The crypto space is characterized by a host of traditions. 1 April, for instance, is one of the most awaited days by people from the space as they get to play around with their puns, and toss unrealistic predictions on account of April Fools. 20 April, on the other hand, is considered to be DOGE day because it coincides with the date 4/20.

Quite similarly, Bitcoin Pizza Day is another event that is exclusively celebrated by people from the community every year on 22 May.

The Bitcoin x Pizza story

Combinations like Pineapple-Pizza have been typified as atypical over the past few years. But a decade back, the Bitcoin-Pizza combination was viewed as the most bizarre combination ever.

Well, no. The pizza(s) in question wasn’t topped with Bitcoin-themed veggies. It’s just that the payment for the said pizzas was made in Bitcoin.

Around 12 years back, in May 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, a Floridian programmer purchased two pizzas and paid for the same in Bitcoin, making the said transaction the first-ever recorded real-world crypto transaction. His journey was, however, not all that easy. Several obstacles like the scanty adoption hindered his path.

In the Bitcointalk.org forum on 18 May 2010, Hanyecz claimed that he planned to use BTC to buy pizza, preferably two large ones. He was ready to fork out 10k Bitcoin to anyone who could place and deliver the order. The only condition was that crypto payments ought to be available.

In a pretty overt fashion, he had stated,

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

A couple of days rolled by, yet the programmer was not able to find anyone who would take up his offer. In fact, people on the internet like “ender_x” ended up stating that they thought 10,000 BTC was “quite a bit” for two large pizzas and wished him good luck on his journey to acquire “free pizza.”

Hanyecz gradually began losing hope. Nonetheless, it didn’t take much time for the tables to turn. On 22 May at 19:17, he commented on his own post with a picture of his pizzas with,

“I just wanted to report that I traded 10,000 Bitcoins for pizza.”

Apparently, a British man took up Hanyecz’s offer and bought the two pizzas for him in exchange for the 10k Bitcoins worth approximately $41 at that time.

Nine months after the purchase, Bitcoin reached par with the U.S. dollar, making the two pizzas worth $10,000 and during the fifth anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day in 2015, the two pizzas were valued at $2.4 million. With every passing year, the value of the pizzas has only managed to rise higher.

With Bitcoin valued at around $30k at press time, the said pizzas were worth more than $300 million.

Well, little did Hanyecz know that his Bitcoin HODLings would inflate in value over the years. Back then in 2010, he just wanted to execute a simple exchange, Bitcoin for Pizza, and he was quite successful at it.

Commenting on his own action, Hanyecz said in a recent interview on CBS47,

“People ask me… oh man what an idiot why didn’t you keep that Bitcoin? It’s like, well, you know, somebody had to start it off.”