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It's Bitcoin Pizza Day: The Story Behind $700 Million In BTC Spent on One Dinner

Published 23/05/2024, 14:00
© Reuters It\'s Bitcoin Pizza Day: The Story Behind $700 Million In BTC Spent on One Dinner

Benzinga - Every year on May 22, the cryptocurrency community remembers and marvels at how one man paid for a pizza with bitcoin. While the story may sound benign and uninteresting at first glance, the details are completely shocking and have undoubtedly led to regrets for some involved.

On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, a Florida resident, posted on the bitcoin Talk forum, "Pizza for bitcoins?" The post stated that Laszlo would be willing to pay "10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas…like maybe two large ones so I have some leftover for the next day."

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A British man took Laszlo up on the offer, and sent his two pizzas from Papa John's in exchange for 10,000 bitcoins. The man who bought the pizzas received $41 in bitcoin and only had to pay $25.

Obviously, the 10,000 bitcoins have appreciated in value well beyond the $41 they were worth on that day in 2010. At current prices, they are worth over $700 million, enough to buy more than two pizzas.

Laszlo went on 60 Minutes in 2019 to discuss the transaction, saying that he "thought it would be really cool if I could say, ‘Hey, I just traded this, you know, open-source internet money for a real-world good.'"

He also discussed bitcoin Pizza Day, noting that "it's pretty cool to have a holiday in my honor. Many crypto enthusiasts around the world celebrate this day each year as it marks the first time that bitcoin truly added value to its users.

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The story has also become a legend in the crypto community, as it shows the two main aspects of bitcoin: a form of payment and a store of value. Coinbase has used the story to create commercials that show these points. In a recently released advertisement, Coinbase shows how the halvings have impacted the price of bitcoin, using pizza as a medium of explanation.

The ad shows that in 2012, one bitcoin was worth one pizza; in 2016, one bitcoin was worth a stack of pizzas, and in 2024, one bitcoin is worth a mound of pizzas. The ad almost certainly got inspiration from Laszlo's story, showing how the bitcoin halvings have lowered the future supply, which can help increase the value of one bitcoin and buy more and more pizza.

So, each year on May 22, the crypto community serves up a pizza toast to Laszlo Hanyecz, one of the first to use bitcoin as intended. This set off a series of events that has led the price of 10,000 bitcoins to go from $41 to over $700 million.

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© 2024 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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