“Pizza for Bitcoin?”
This is the title of a post dated May 18, 2010 by a user named “laszlo” on an obscure forum in a dimly-lit corner of the Internet, bitcointalk.org. The request was fairly straightforward, “I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for some pizza. Maybe like 2 big ones so I have something left over for the next day. I like to leave the pizza to nibble on later.”
A user named “ender_x” commented on the thread later that day, saying that he thought 10,000 bitcoin was “small enough” for two large pizzas and wished him the best of luck on his journey to getting “free pizza.” As it turns out, Laszlo didn’t need a fortune, nor would those pizzas be considered “free.” Five days later, on May 22, 2010, at 7:17 pm, he commented on his own post with a picture of his pizza, saying, “I just wanted to report that I traded 10,000 bitcoins for pizza. ” And with that, László (full name: László Hniez) documented the first physical item purchased with bitcoin. There’s even a plaque commemorating Papa John’s shopping in Jacksonville, Florida that reads, “Papa Johns. The creator of the famous bitcoin pizza. 22 May 2010.,
To say that Hanyecz loved pizza would be an understatement. Following this successful exchange, he posted that 10,000 bitcoin for two large pizzas was “an open offer”. Apparently many more people ordered pizza for him because on August 4, 2010, Hanyez turned down his offer, saying he could not afford to generate enough bitcoin to pay for the pizza.
Several months later, on November 29, 2010, in a terrifyingly prophetic fashion, another user named “Reebok” posted on the thread saying, “Will this eventually become the world’s first million-dollar pizza?” As history goes on, Reebok’s prediction will prove to be little. It’s fair to say that no one in that forum could have predicted or predicted how much those bitcoins would be worth.
Since that forum thread, bitcoin has enjoyed a wild ride on the moon. At the time of writing, 10,000 bitcoins are worth around $291,305,000! Did Hanaeus expect bitcoin to ever be as valuable as it is today? Maybe not, but that’s not the point. Hanyecz just wanted to do a simple exchange, bitcoin for pizza. And that’s exactly what he did.
Today, many people look at this trade and think, “Oh wow, that guy must feel like a complete buffalo. Who trades that amount for two pizzas?” If you think so, I am afraid you have missed out on the impact of this monumental event. Hanyecz himself said in an interview on CBS47, “People ask me… oh man what an idiot why didn’t you keep that bitcoin? It’s like, well, you know, someone had to start it.”
When Hany’s bought those pizzas, it was first established that bitcoin had a market cap. Of course, if it wasn’t Honeyeyes it would have been someone else, it was inevitable. Hanyecz itself doesn’t regret the purchase, nor should we scoff at it. Instead we should thank them for pioneering bitcoin adoption.
Bitcoin Pizza Day is one of those stories that, until it was documented, you wouldn’t believe it was real. As has been the case with most of bitcoin’s history, Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script than the way it actually played out.
Now bitcoiners on every continent celebrate this event every 22 May by buying pizza and sharing it with family and friends. In an almost religious fashion, bitcoiners gather to remember that Memorial Day, a humble Floridian in Jacksonville bought some pizza with a new, strange internet money that only a handful of people knew at the time.
My humble city of Windsor, Ontario Canada lacks bitcoin meetups and community, so I decided to take advantage of Bitcoin Pizza Day by hosting the first bitcoin meetup in a border town. As pastors of a local church, we have the advantage of using our place of worship to host the event. Did Hannaise ever imagine that her simple two-pizza purchase would dominate over time at an event celebrating her purchase at a church in Southern Ontario? Maybe not, yet here we are! We were able to secure sponsorships from Shakepay and CoinKite and are delighted to have Greg Foss on board to do the orange-pilling. It is sure to be an amazing time.
You might not be able to host an event like this, but can you invite your family and friends over for some pizza? Can you share with them the story of Bitcoin Pizza Day while you feed them some delicious cheesy pie? Bitcoin Pizza Day is kind of like a bitcoin version of Thanksgiving, but instead of turkey, it’s pizza. It is a time of gratitude and remembrance of how far we have all come. Bitcoin Pizza Day is a reminder that we are going to make it! Bitcoin Pizza Day is also one of the best orange-piling occasions of the year.
Consider starting a family tradition. In my house we make homemade pizza and our kids pay for it by sending each other SAT (the smallest unit of bitcoin) over the Lightning Network. It is a day that we all eagerly wait for every year. The kids love it, we love it and everyone wins. Get creative with it, use it as a teaching opportunity and have a little fun. So invite your family and friends, share the story of Bitcoin Pizza Day with them, eat some pizza, be grateful and rejoice.
Bitcoin is the unifying force in this world. Bitcoin is for everyone. Bitcoin does not care if you are male or female; Bitcoin does not care about your education level or your place of birth. Bitcoin is a veritable protocol that cannot discriminate. Bitcoin represents freedom from the financial oppression of fiat bankers who have been piling up our savings for over 50 years.
Whenever I think of Bitcoin Pizza Day, I can’t help but be reminded of Andy Bernard’s sage wisdom, “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the ‘good old days’ before That you really leave them.”
Did Laszlo Hanyecz realize he was in the throes of the good old days of global bitcoin adoption when he posted on bitcointalk.org? Maybe not. This Bitcoin Pizza Day, know for sure you are in the good old days, order two pizzas, pay with bitcoin if you can and enjoy the good old days as there are still many good days.
This is a guest post by Elin Patularu. The opinions expressed are solely their own and do not necessarily represent those of BTC Inc. either . reflect the thoughts of bitcoin magazine,