Bitcoin has become a popular method of funding offshore sports betting accounts but did you know that the first commercial transaction using Bitcoin occurred a dozen years ago?
What is Bitcoin Pizza Day?
Imagine if someone gave you $295 million for two pizzas. Well, to be clear, they weren’t just regular plain ol’ pizzas, they were large supreme pizzas with the works. I guess if you’re going to pay way above retail, you might as well shoot the moon – sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions… well, you get the drift.
That is essentially what happened on May 22, 2010, when a Florida software developer and early Bitcoin adopter named Laszlo Hanyecz had a hankering for pizza and wondered if he could pay with what was a new-fangled digital currency. Would anyone really deliver a tangible product for what was, and still is, a non-tangible form of payment?
It seemed Hanyecz was more intrigued by the idea of transacting with Bitcoin and watching it manifest into a hard asset, and one that would soon be devoured, than sating his appetite. But both needs were filled on that fateful day when he posted an offer of 10,000 Bitcoins for two large pizzas on a forum called Bitcointalk.org a few days earlier.
Initially, there was no response but then a 19-year-old by the name of Jeremy Sturdivant decided to take him up on the offer and the rest is history. We now celebrate “Bitcoin Pizza Day” to mark the event.
Purchasing with Bitcoin these days is practically mainstream and although it is restricted from being used on U.S. casino floors, there are hotels in Las Vegas that accept it as a form of payment for anything from snacks to hotel rooms. Bitcoin is also widely welcomed by offshore sportsbooks to transfer funds to customer accounts and is often preferred as the currency of choice due to its security measures.
But back in 2010, only coding geeks and software engineer types had even heard of Bitcoin. It wasn’t worth much more than about eight cents a coin and was essentially a wonky digital creation without any practical application. Nobody would accept Bitcoin for goods or services because nobody had ever heard of it.
But that changed one fine day in May of that year and the man who decided to make the world an offer using Bitcoin, Laszlo Hanyecz, posted the following on Bitcointalk.org:
“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 things like onions, peppers, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni, etc… just standard stuff no weird fish topping or anything like that.”
“If you’re interested please let me know and we can work out a deal.”
Laszlo Hanyecz’s Story
Hanyecz spoke about the historic deal a few years ago, after Bitcoin had climbed to $9500 per share and now sits at roughly $30,000 a share.
“I don’t regret it. I think that it’s great that I got to be part of the early history of Bitcoin in that way.”
“People know about the pizza… everybody can kind of relate to that and be [like] ‘Oh my God, you spent all of that money!'”
“I wanted to do the pizza thing because to me it was free pizza,” Hanyecz later explained.
“I mean, I coded this thing and mined Bitcoin and I felt like I was winning the internet that day.”
“I got pizza for contributing to an open-source project. Usually, hobbies are a time sink and money sink, and in this case, my hobby bought me dinner.”
He told Cointelegraph: “I’d like to think that what I did helped. But I think if it wasn’t me, somebody else would have come along. And maybe it wouldn’t have been pizza.”
Jeremy Sturdivant’s Story
The man who facilitated the pizza delivery and accepted the 10,000 Bitcoins, Jeremy Sturdivant, was, unfortunately, not a holder either, and he too spent the Bitcoin on miscellaneous expenses.
“I didn’t see Bitcoin as likely to completely collapse, though I had no idea how huge it would become,” Sturdivant said.
“At the time of the famous pizza, I would never have thought that the same number of Bitcoin would have a purchasing power on the order of real estate.
“Retrospectively, simply having that much Bitcoin in one place is quite a crazy thought. Of course, that wasn’t notable at the time, as Bitcoin was just getting started.”