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The purchase that changed the history of cryptocurrencies

1 What is the story behind this tag?

Until May 18, 2010, laszlo I’ve had a lot of fun contributing Bitcoin. He was a miner, had contributed to network code, and was a featured member by BitcoinTalk. Sounds like a pretty hectic life, but Laszlo missed something. The programmer wanted cryptocurrency to be used as a real payment method. That means you could make a market, make a payment at a restaurant, or place an order Delivery with Bitcoin.

Laszlo probably had pizza cravings too, so at noon on May 18 he made an offer on the Bitcoin Talk forums. The post entitled “Pizza for Bitcoins?” summarized the programmer’s wish. I wanted some pizzasthe greatest, so that he has something left over for the next day, for a payment of 10,000 BTC.

Yes, exactly as you read: 10,000 BTC. For a bitcoiner today, this number is crazy, but in 2010, the price of the cryptocurrency was very low and this value was just under $40. With this sum you could only buy two large pizzas including delivery. But Laszlo wasn’t picky: he didn’t care if the pizzas were made by other users at home or ordered from a store.

Which He wanted someone else to accept the bitcoins in exchange for payment a few pizzas with fiat money. The entry also had other specifications: onions, tomatoes, pepperoni, mushrooms or sausage were some of the toppings that Laszlo liked. As for the cheese, the regular one, the mozzarella, which has always been present in this Italian dish. The publication ended with a request to contact him to complete the purchase.

It might sound crazy, but there were quite a number of forum users willing to try this experiment with Laszlo. Some claimed the bitcoiner was overselling for a couple of pizzas, while others from Europe wanted to make the purchase to keep the easy rest of the order. Many others were just joking with the programmer, but he made that very clear He thought it would be very “cool” to be able to say he bought pizzas with bitcoin. Perhaps this sentence was decisive, because on May 22 (four days later) he managed to complete the purchase.

The counterpart was another forum user named Jercos, but his real name is Jeremy Sturdivant and he was only 18 at the time. Sturdivant, a native of California, a state 4,000 kilometers from the city of Jacksonville, contacted grocery chain Papa Jhon’s to order two extra-large pizzas to ship to Laszlo. According to Jeremy, in later interviews he said: I chose to attend this event because “I wanted to facilitate a purchase”although he later saw the fruits of an investment in the BTC he received.

Bitcoin price for 2010

When Laszlo placed the pizza order, each BTC cost 0.0041 US cents. In this way, 10,000 BTC equaled about $41. However, over the course of three months, that rose to $600 for both pizzas.

Laszlo’s pizzas were immortalized in a photo. There were numerous comments on the forum post congratulating him on the purchase, and the programmer even assured that if there were users interested in repeating the process, he would leave open the possibility of making other similar purchases. But the months passed and little by little the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed. Then the supply got too juicy and too expensive, so Laszlo stopped buying pizza on Bitcoin Talk.

As proof that the purchase went through, Laszlo posted a photo of the two pizzas. Spring:

2 Who created Bitcoin Pizza Day?

Many only know Laszlo as “the guy who bought the pizzas with bitcoin,” when in fact he was a key member of the network. For example, the programmer collaborated with other key developers on the Bitcoin code while Satoshi Nakamoto was still in the process of completing its creation.

He was it has rewritten the Bitcoin code for Mac OS operating systems, since by that time Nakamoto had created the Windows-only cryptocurrency. On these contributions Laszlo published his works in the Bitcoin Talk forum.

Laszlo Hanyecz, Bitcoin developer, creator of the Bitcoin code for the Mac OS operating system and the man who bought the two most expensive pizzas in history.
Laszlo Hanyecz is more than the man who bought the two most expensive pizzas in history. Source: CBS

Additionally, is credited with developing GPU mining (with graphics cards), the ancestor of what we know today as specialized mining equipment (ASIC). laszlo created the script For GPU mining, he tested it with his own resources, becoming one of the first miners to operate the Bitcoin network with a high hash rate.

Satoshi Nakamoto was concerned

While the idea of ​​GPU mining is very beneficial for experienced miners, it could backfire for those still using their computers. That was Satoshi Nakamoto’s opinion of Laszlo’s ideas, so the programmer stopped publishing information on the subject.

Contrary to what many believe, the Jacksonville-based programmer has never regretted being the man who bought the most expensive pizza in history. Rather, Laszlo is proud to be the first person to use Bitcoin commercially.He explained that BTC was created for this purpose and he was one of the first to use the cryptocurrency for this purpose.

Jeremy Sturdivant, the competitor who made the purchase of these two pizzas possible, thinks similarly. Against all odds Sturdivant no longer owns the 10,000 BTC Laszlo gave him for trade, there used it for a trip with his girlfriend in the United States. And while he gained something from the transaction, as if it were an investment, he assures that in the end, what mattered most to him was giving Laszlo the ability to use Bitcoin to buy some pizzas.

3 Why is Bitcoin Pizza Day celebrated?

With all this history behind the scenes, May 22nd has become an iconic date for bitcoiners. Better known today as Bitcoin Pizza Day, community stakeholders often get together, buy pizzas with BTC and celebrate the day when the cryptocurrency’s first commercial transaction was made.

But what exactly is celebrated? Some will say that it was Laszlo Hanyecz’s achievement, others that it was the first time Bitcoin worked as a currency, and still others that it was the crucial step in making it a truly useful payment system.

A global celebration

Bitcoin Pizza Day is not an exclusive event. People from all over the world can participate, all they have to do is find a pizzeria that accepts BTC payment. A requirement that is very easy to meet today.

No doubt it is a date commemorating the crossing of the lower limit of the cryptocurrency network. From an idea shared almost secretly to a mailing list to a currency adopted by a select few that today ends up as “digital gold”. A behemoth that crowns a multi-billion dollar financial industry and makes corporations and governments roll their faces to see it.

4 How has the price of bitcoin evolved since the first commercial transaction?

As previously mentioned, 10,000 BTC was equivalent to just over $40 when Laszlo made the transaction to purchase the two pizzas. However, it didn’t take long for the price of this dish to skyrocket. For the month of August of the same year, Papa Jhon’s two pizzas were already selling for about $600 and in November 2010 they were already at 1,200 US dollars.

The graph shows historical data of bitcoin price from 2011 to 2023
In the long term, the price of bitcoin has not stopped rising. Source: CoinMarketCap.

The value continued to rise in the following years, but there were also occasional bear markets, which caused the price of the two pizzas to fall significantly. If you only consider the record prices: at the end of 2017, 10,000 BTC equaled 200 million dollars. In the meantime, In 2021, the pizzas reached their highest value: more than 650 million dollars.

In order to be able to closely follow the price fluctuations of Laszlo’s pizzas, the following was even created: an index. This calculates the total amount the programmer would have paid if they bought the pizza today, as well as the value of each individual pizza disc (pieces) and ingredients on it.

5 What to do to celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day?

Celebrating Bitcoin Pizza Day is easy. The first thing to keep in mind is that it is an event that takes place every May 22nd all over the world. In general, bitcoin communities in different cities around the world organize their own parties to celebrate this date. But it can also be done at your local pizzeria or in the comfort of your own home.

Crucially, you eat pizza and it was bought with BTC. Yes, you can’t cheat. The idea is to relive the moment Laszlo Hanyecz immortalized. Therefore, it is important that you find out which pizzerias in your area accept payments in Bitcoin. You might even convince a local to accept cryptocurrency as another payment alternative.

If you already have the pizza in your hands, you can take a picture and share it on networks. Many Bitcoiners will be commenting on their celebration on the day, so there will be plenty of pizza and beer on social media like Twitter. And finally, you can enjoy your lunch without having to pay 10,000 BTC for it.

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