Share Button

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ginnerobot/

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ginnerobot/

On May 18, 2010, a programmer in Jacksonville, Florida, named Laszlo Hanyecz was hungry. As a very early adopter of an experimental virtual currency called bitcoin, Hanyecz had also mined tens of thousands of the things. Surely there was someone out there in the digital void who might be willing to trade him a couple of pizzas for bitcoin. He took to BitcoinTalk, hoping to find someone who might help.

I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later. You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I’m aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order or prepare it myself, kind of like ordering a ‘breakfast platter’ at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you’re happy!

I like things like onions, peppers, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni, etc. just standard stuff no weird fish topping or anything like that. I also like regular cheese pizzas which may be cheaper to prepare or otherwise acquire.

If you’re interested please let me know and we can work out a deal.”

Four days later, on May 22, a fellow forum member named Jercos took him up on the offer, ordering two Papa John’s pizzas. In the cryptocurrency community, this is widely considered the first significant bitcoin transaction in history. For around $40 worth of pizza, Jercos bought 10,000 bitcoins. In today’s prices, those bitcoin are worth about $5.2 million.

Although bitcoin was “born” with the publication of the Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper on Jan. 3, 2009, the date doesn’t seem to resonate as much as what has become known as Bitcoin Pizza Day. Hanyecz’s deal helped to establish the first meaningful exchange rate for virtual currency, $0.004, and inspired one of the first notable bitcoin-related services, PizzaForCoins.com. It’s a “holiday” that is just goofy enough to actually echo loudly in the novelty loving pop culture world, as almost everyone likes pizza.

There are some signs that Bitcoin Pizza Day is actually becoming at least noteworthy, if not actually a holiday per se. Major media outlets like TechCrunch, ABC News, Business Insider and Entrepreneur have all published slices … er … pieces on the topic today.

Share Button