The tale of the Bitcoin pizza has become a customary episode in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, as it portrays the staggering growth of the cryptocurrency market in a readily digestible story.
In the very prime ages of Bitcoin, May 18, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz took to the bitcointalk.org forum to post a topic, in which he proposed to buy two pizzas for 10,000 BTC. One Bitcoin at that time was valued at around $0.0003, which implies he was offering approximately $30 in fiat currency terms.
Some days later, a user of the forum by the name “jercos” accepted his offer, and the deal that would ultimately make history was sealed. Laszlo then announced on the forum on May 22 that the transaction had been executed successfully. The event marked the first recorded case where Bitcoin was traded for a tangible good or service.
Apart from the fact that he was an early adopter, Hanyecz also had a significant contribution to Bitcoin’s source code. He stated in a late 2013 interview with New York Times that he did not regret the making the transaction, and said he later sold his Bitcoins at about $1 to buy a new computer and a few graphics cards to complete it.
At the time the interview was conducted, Bitcoin was trading at around $650 and was getting mainstream recognition after it surged past the $1,000 mark in november 2016.
“The idea of trading Bitcoins for a pizza was incredibly refreshing back then, as they didn’t really have any value.”
10,000 BTC at the current prices is worth about $82 million, a price we can all admit is a bit too much to pay for two boxes of pizza, no matter how tasty.
In the cryptocurrency community, May 22 has since become recognized as Bitcoin Pizza Day. A company which is quite famous for its hardware cryptocurrency wallets, Ledger, decided to celebrate this year’s Bitcoin Pizza Day by releasing a special edition of its Ledger Nano S hardware wallet. The device comes in color best characterized as “tomato sauce red,” and the package design is centered on a “Laszlo’s Pizza” theme.
While Bitcoin Pizza Day is a pleasant reminder of how far Bitcoin has come since its introduction in 2009, it is also symbolic of a serious review that is currently taking place in the cryptocurrency space. While the Bitcoin whitepaper explicitly asserts that Bitcoin was created to be a decentralized currency, a form of electronic cash, Bitcoin is increasingly being perceived as a store of value, a sort of digital gold.
This perception perhaps solidified even further when Bitcoin’s network fees increased up to $50 per transaction in the midst of the late 2017/early 2018 cryptocurrency euphoria. However, work is being done on this aspect with the creation of the Lightning Network, which could provide the scalabilities Bitcoin needs to be useful as a currency for everyday use if successfully implemented.