In a Bitcoin Talk Forum post on May 17, 2010, an early Bitcoin experimenter named Laszlo Hanyecz was hungry. His 1-year-old daughter liked pizza and so he decided to try and buy 2 pizzas with the Bitcoin he had recently been mining. In fact, Laszlo was the first developer to mine bitcoins using a GPU, so he happened to have a lot at the time. He was the only one using this technique, so he was generating "thousands of coins a day" at that time. You should go and read the original thread. It's amazing!
So it's spring 2010 and Laszlo was "bitcoin rich." The only problem was that, at that time, about 17 months in to bitcoin's existence, the coins were worth less than a penny and you couldn't buy anything with them!
He posted on the BitcoinTalk Forum:
“I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas. Maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later... If you’re interested please let me know and we can work out a deal.”
“Good luck on getting your free pizza,” another user sarcastically replied.
Laszlo was honest. He simply said, “I just think it would be interesting if I could say that I paid for a pizza in bitcoins.”
Interesting indeed. Five days later, he reported in the same thread that he had received 2 supreme pizzas from a Papa John's International in Jacksonville, Florida. He even posted the pictures to prove it. Here's one with his small hand of his young daughter in frame reaching for the pie:
Our team at FinNexus just loves Bitcoin Pizza Day!
By the end of the thread, just 6 months later, people marvelled at the rise in the price spent on the bitcoin pizzas. The 10,000 BTC that had been spent were worth $2600 in 6 months! Today we celebrate the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day! And now the amount spent is equivalent to $91.58 million at today's BTC prices.
But honestly, while amazing, it was a much more important milestone for cryptocurrency in general, as it proved that a non-sovereign virtual currency could indeed be used as a "means of exchange," which of the 3 functions of money is the most difficult to achieve. That's because it requires the transference of the belief in value to another person. Just being a "store of value" or "unit of accounting" can be done by one's self. But "medium of exchange"... aye, that's really something!
So, don't cry for Laszlo. On this 10th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day, instead think of what we all gained - a new global currency!
If you're going to cry for somebody, don't cry for Laszlo, as one of the early bitcoin software developers, I'm sure he kept a couple spare bitty around after those early experiments. Cry for the pizza delivery guys! According to the BitcoinTalk forum post, apparently, Laszlo bought a couple of bitcoin pizzas before the price rise made him rethink his strategy for nourishment.
But none were more famous than that original Bitcoin Pizza had on May 22, 2010.
Happy noshing, y'all!