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Today marks the 11th anniversary of a Florida man spending $10,000 Bitcoin on two pizzas.
Today is the 11th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day, an annual Bitcoin festival as well as a solemn parable for the virtue of HODLing.
On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, a Florida web developer and former Bitcoin core contributor, paid 10,000 Bitcoin for two Papa John’s pizzas. It’s one of the few times anyone has purchased something using Bitcoin.
“I just want to report that I successfully traded 10,000 bitcoins for pizza,” beamed Hanyecz the BitcoinTalk forum on May 22, 2010, before posting several photographs of the two Papa John’s pizzas he bought.
Those two pizzas cost $41 at the time. At today’s price, 10,000 bitcoins cost $384 million. And at Bitcoin’s all-time high of $64,863 last month, those two pizzas would be worth $684 million.
In a Bloomberg interview in February, Hanyecz said he has no regrets about his purchase—although he advised using cash to buy pizzas.
The idea of holding tightly onto Bitcoin didn’t make sense back in 2010, when each Bitcoin was only worth a couple of cents.
Steve Ehrlich, CEO and founder of Voyager Digital, told Decrypt, “Back then, the tangible value of Bitcoin seemed inconceivable, and its future uncertain, so one could justify that it was a fun social experiment.”
But a lot has changed since Hanyecz’s pizza purchase—and not just Bitcoin’s price. Bitcoin started out as a peer-to-peer cash system that early adherents hoped could replace central bank-controlled fiat money.
However, due to a limited supply, a costly mining operation, and increased demand, Bitcoin’s price and transaction fees continued to rise, making it more attractive as “digital gold” rather than a useful means of exchange—and certainly not for purchasing pizza.
“I tried paying for pizza last night in Bitcoin and was met with a puzzled look,” Jayne Cripps of digital asset brokerage GlobalBlock told Decrypt.
Bitcoin pizza day means something new to proponents of Bitcoin Cash, a cryptocurrency that hard-forked from Bitcoin in 2017 to allow payment processing. A tiny group of BCH backers continues to exist, just as Laszlo Hanyecz did in 2010.
Hayden Otto, a Bitcoin Cash trader, told Decrypt that he and 30 others celebrated Bitcoin Pizza Day this year at Mama Teresa’s Pizzeria, a BCH-accepting restaurant in North Queensland, Australia. For Otto and his fellow BCH spenders, it’s “like Bitcoin pizza day every day,” he says.
However, Bitcoin Cash, like other cryptocurrencies, is just as unpredictable as Bitcoin. It is currently trading at $698, down 13% in the last 24 hours.
If you’re starving, it’s always cheaper to pay cash for your pizzas.