There are a host of special days commemorated by people from the crypto space. April 1, for instance, is one of the most awaited days as community members get to play around with their puns and toss unrealistic predictions on account of April Fools’. April 20, or 4/20 has its own significance. On one hand, it is the day celebrated by cannabis smokers. On the other, it is also DOGE Day—a day quite significant for people from the ‘meme army.’ Likewise, May 22, or Bitcoin Pizza Day is another event that is exclusively celebrated by the community year after year.
The Bitcoin Pizza Day Backstory
Thirteen years back, Laszlo Hanyecz, a Floridian programmer bought two pizzas and paid for them in Bitcoin. The transaction was, notably, the first-ever recorded real-world crypto transaction. In the Bitcointalk.org forum on 18 May 2010, Hanyecz wrote that he planned to use BTC to buy pizza, preferably two large ones. He was ready to shell out 10k Bitcoin to anyone who could place the order and deliver it to him. The only condition was that crypto payments ought to be available. Hanyecz outrightly stated,
“I’ll pay 10,000 Bitcoins for a couple of pizzas. Like maybe 2 large ones so I have some leftovers for the next day. I like having leftover pizza to nibble on later. If you’re interested, please let me know and we can work out a deal.”
A couple of days rolled by, yet the programmer was not able to find anyone who would take up his offer. On one hand, few thought that Hanyecz was trying to get a free meal. While others were keen on finding out how things transpired. A particular user exclaimed that 10,000 BTC was “quite a bit” for two large pizzas. He had advised Hanyecz to sell his crypto holdings for $41 instead.
His journey to acquire pizzas by paying with Bitcoin was not all that easy. Obstacles like the scanty adoption hindered Hanyecz’s path. He gradually began losing hope. Nonetheless, it didn’t take much time for the tables to turn. On 22 May at 19:17, he commented on his own post with a picture of his pizzas.
“I just wanted to report that I traded 10,000 Bitcoins for pizza.”
Interestingly, a British man took up Hanyecz’s offer and bought the two pizzas for him in exchange for the 10k Bitcoins worth approximately $41 at that time.
Nine months after the purchase, Bitcoin reached par with the U.S. dollar, making the two pizzas worth $10,000 and during the fifth anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day in 2015, the two pizzas were valued at $2.4 million. With every passing year, the value of the pizzas has only managed to rise higher. With Bitcoin at $26.7k, those pizzas are valued at around $267 million today. In honor of the purchase, there’s a plaque at Papa John’s in Jacksonville, Florida, that reads, “Papa John’s. Makers of the famous Bitcoin Pizzas. May 22, 2010.”