On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz bought two Papa John's pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoin. Today, that would be worth $82,000,000. Why did he do it, who was this man and what has he done since?
The World's Most Expensive Pizza
Laszlo Hanyecz is a programmer from Florida who was the first person to buy real world goods with his Bitcoin. He posted a request on May 17, 2010, and he reported the successful purchase on May 22. Technically, Jeremy Sturdivant (Jercos) bought the pizzas and traded them for his Bitcoin but the takeaway did not accept Bitcoin.
Mr. Hanyecz said on a bitcoin forum: “I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas. Maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later. If you’re interested please let me know and we can work out a deal.”
Hanyecz made the purchase to show that the cryptocurrency could be used as digital cash. At the time, the price of Bitcoin was around $0.004 and the pizzas cost $41. Mining rewards were greater at the time as they halve every four years and it was also easier to mine blocks as the difficulty level was lower.
In an interview with the New York Times, he said: “It wasn’t like Bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool. No one knew it was going to get so big.”
In February, Fortune reported that he tested the Lightning Network, a Bitcoin upgrade taking transactions off-chain, by buying another two pizzas. This time the pizzas were more expensive in fiat currency, $67, but he only paid 0.00649 Bitcoin for both of them. The transaction cost was about 6 cents. This shows the effect of Satoshi's deflationary currency in comparison with inflationary fiat over time.
Nano Ledger Releases Limited Edition
Hardware wallet maker Ledger has brought out a limited edition Nano Ledger S in celebration of Bitcoin Pizza Day. They issued a limited quantity of 1,337 units, available online. Each box is customized and signed by an employee from their workshop in Vierzon, France.
What is apt is that you can purchase the Nano Ledger S with Bitcoin, solidifying its ability to be used as a real-world currency. So far, only 102 have been bought. The hardware wallet supports Bitcoin, Ethereum and Altcoins and has an OLED display to check and confirm transactions.