May 22, 2020 marks one decade since Bitcoin was ever used to make a purchase, specifically a pair of pizza pies to feed a Floridian man’s stomach. While the transaction figures into this date it is not the most significant part of the tale-the price is. The purchase of this pair of pizzas involved 10,000 Bitcoins, an amount of cryptocurrency which would be worth over $80 million at its current value.
For more specific details, “Bitcoin Pizza Day saw Laszlo Hanyecz consent to paying 10k Bitcoins to have two Papa John’s pizzas delivered to his place. After posting on the forum of “bitcointalk” he Hanyecz offered 10k Bitcoins for enough pizza to keep him fed for two days. He went on to express how open he was in the offer; a willing participant could provide a home-cooked pie and send it Hanyecz’s way or order a delivery from a pizzeria. His ultimate goal was to have prepared food delivered to him in exchange for a sum of cryptocurrency.
A British man consented to Hanyecz’s idea and bought him the two pies for the agreed-upon amount of cryptocurrency. Even back in 2010, this was a true bargain for the Brit as 10,000 Bitcoin equated to $41-the two pizzas only cost $25.
As Bitcoin has continued to maintain a presence, Hanyecz’s 10,000 Bitcoins have grown in financial value. A mere nine months after the incident, Bitcoin was worth just as much as an American dollar and meant that Hanyecz had paid the equivalent of $10,000 for 0.0025% that much in product. Five years after Bitcoin Pizza Day, the two pies had spiked to a worth of $2.4 million. The value of a single Bitcoin has since risen to more than $8,200; indeed, the current value of the pizzas in today’s Bitcoin places the order at just over $181 million. Assuming that $5 of the order went toward a tip, equivalent to 20% of the price paid for the food, the driver might have made over $36,000.
Despite Bitcoin’s rising value, Hanyecz does not seem remorseful over the event. As far as he was concerned, Bitcoins were near worthless compared to a full belly.
While Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, it is far from the first.
- 2011 saw the introduction of “Litecoin” and “Namecoin.”
- “Peercoin” debuted a year later in 2012.
- 2013 saw several new cryptocurrencies enter the market: “Dogecoin,” “Gridcoin,” “NXT,” “Primecoin” and “Ripple.”
- 2014 saw a record nine cryptocurrencies enter the market, including Auroracoin and Titcoin.
- 2015 saw four new cryptocurrencies pop up, including “Ether.”
- 2017 saw the first major “innovation” for Bitcoin in “Bitcoin Cash.” Bitcoin Cash was a hard fork from its namesake that octupled the size of data blocks.
- One other little tidbit of cryptocurrency history would be the number of inactive cryptocurrencies: “Coinye” shuttered after Kanye West threatened litigation; “BitConnect” was a Ponzi scheme; KodakCoin was connected to the Kodak company and “Petro” was founded by the Venezuelan government.