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From $41 to $700 Million: The Bitcoin Pizza Story

May 22, 2024

Exactly fourteen years back, Floridian programmer Laszlo Hanyecz got two pizzas for himself delivered from Papa John’s. Now you’d be wondering, why is a one-and-a-half decade old story related to pizzas being reported by a crypto media house? Well, that pizza transaction has already cemented a place for itself in the books of crypto history, for it was paid using Bitcoin. In fact, this was the first-ever recorded real-world crypto transaction.  

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On 18 May 2010, Hanyecz wrote in the Bitcointalk.org forum that he wanted to use Bitcoin to buy two large pizzas. He was ready to cut out a deal and pay 10,000 BTC to anyone who would place the order, deliver it to him, and accept crypto payment. Justifying why he wanted two large pizzas, the programmer said he’d like to have some leftovers to nibble on the next day.

Initially, no one seemed keen on taking up Hanyecz’s offer. Within a couple of days, however, he commented under his own post with a picture of his pizzas. To be specific, on 22 May at 19:17, he said,

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

A British man agreed to buy Hanyecz two pizzas for 10,000 BTC. At that time, they were worth around $41. Fast-forward to today, the holdings are worth more than $700 million. To commemorate the purchase, there’s a plaque at Papa John’s in Jacksonville, Florida. “Papa John’s, Makers of the famous Bitcoin Pizzas. May 22, 2010” is inscribed on it.

Three quarters after the transaction, Bitcoin’s valuation attained $1, 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 at $26.7k this time last year, those pizzas were valued around $267 million. In retrospect, today’s value stands 2.6x higher.

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