7 Surprising Facts About Bitcoin Pizza Day

May 22 is now forever known as Bitcoin Pizza Day, the holiday marking the date in 2010 when the first real-world good was bought with the first decentralized digital money.

Yet like every holiday, be it Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day, Bitcoin Pizza Day might say more about those celebrating it today than any of the actual historical facts. 

Indeed, there remain those who view the holiday as passé or even against the values of the Bitcoin community.

What remains true is that by May 2010, Bitcoin had a small, but growing economy, one where bitcoin were still mostly traded peer-to-peer and on some small exchanges.

Eager to push the frontier of Bitcoin commerce further, Laszlo Hanyecz, an early developer and miner, put out the call that he was willing and ready to pay 10,000 BTC for two pizzas, should someone be willing to take him up on the trade.

Bitcoin user Jeremy “Jercos” Sturdivant would agree to the terms, and two Papa John’s pies would arrive at Hanyecz’s house shortly thereafter. History was made — but some supporting facts have been lost to time.

In honor of the 11th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day, we’ve compiled a list of lesser-known facts about what’s perhaps the most famous of Bitcoin holidays.

Though data on the early Bitcoin economy is getting hard to come by, according to Bitcoin user ender_X, Hanyecz could have traded his bitcoin on an exchange for U.S. dollars … about $41 to be exact. 

Should the figures be accurate, that puts the price per bitcoin at roughly $0.004 — or four-thousandths of a penny — at the time of sale.

While that figure isn’t exactly zero, the price was low enough for ender_X to think Hanyecz might be getting the better of the deal, his post ending with the quip — “good luck on getting your free pizza.”

Sure, it’s not as impressive as Satoshi waiting nearly 11 months for bitcoin to establish a price, but by conventional food delivery standards, Hanyecz waited a while for his order.

In fact, Hanyecz first posted on the Bitcoin.org forums on Tuesday, May 18, at the time writing:

“I'll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like 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.”

Even so, he didn’t end up getting his pizza until Saturday. By Friday, some were even led to reach out about Hanyecz’s health, with user BitcoinFX asking if he was “getting hungry.”

“I just think it would be interesting if I could say that I paid for a pizza in bitcoins,” Hanyecz replied.

Jercos would help him complete the delivery the next day, the transaction taking place at around 2:16 p.m. EST, according to records supported by Bitcoin Talk.

Hanyecz didn’t just stop with two pizzas, however. Enticed by the response, Hanyecz sought to push the limit in June, adding to his post that the deal was “an open offer.”

“I will trade 10,000 BTC for 2 of these pizzas any time as long as I have the funds (I usually have plenty),” he wrote on June 12. “If anyone is interested please let me know.”



















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