Bitcoin Pizza Day: Reflecting on the First Real-World Bitcoin Purchase


In crypto lore, few tales are as iconic as the “Bitcoin Pizza” story. This legend centres around Laszlo Hanyecz, a Florida programmer, and his quest to buy two Papa John’s pizzas using 10,000 Bitcoins. This transaction in May 2010 is celebrated as the first real-world use of bitcoin, with the event’s 14-year anniversary taking place this past week.

At that time, Bitcoin was still in its infancy, and the value of 10,000 bitcoins was just $41. Hanyecz, who had been mining bitcoin since its inception in 2009, decided to use some of his Bitcoin to buy something tangible. Pizza seemed like a perfect choice!

How It All Started

Hanyecz posted a request on a Bitcoin forum, offering 10,000 BTC to anyone who would buy him two large pizzas. Jeremy Sturdivant, a fellow forum member, accepted the offer, bought the pizzas from a local Papa John’s, and sent them to Hanyecz. In return, Hanyecz sent him the 10,000 bitcoins.


This seemingly trivial transaction marked a milestone in Bitcoin’s history. It demonstrated that Bitcoin could be used as a medium of exchange for real-world items. Ever since then, Bitcoin Pizza Day has been celebrated annually on May 22.

Fast Forward to 2024

While Bitcoin Pizza Day celebrates the first real-world use case of Bitcoin, some see the transaction as a missed opportunity, lamenting the fact that the 10,000 Bitcoins used to buy the pizzas would be worth millions today. Fast forward to 2024, and the value of those 10,000 bitcoins is an astounding $700 million!

Laszlo Hanyecz has continued to be involved in the crypto space, though not in a manner that has attracted much public attention. In interviews, Hanyecz has expressed a sense of satisfaction and pride in his role in Bitcoin’s history. He has stated that he was happy to contribute to the development of Bitcoin as a real-world currency and that he has no regrets about the transaction.

Since then, Bitcoin’s real-world use cases have expanded by quite a margin. By 2024, Bitcoin has evolved from being a novelty to a more widely accepted form of currency. Bitcoin is used in various real-world scenarios, from online purchases on e-commerce platforms to real estate transactions.

Some companies even offer employees the option to receive their salary in Bitcoin; the most famous of these instances belonging to former professional football player, Russell Okung.

Final Thoughts

The Bitcoin Pizza story is more than a quirky piece of cryptocurrency trivia; it’s a symbol of Bitcoin’s journey from a nascent digital curiosity to a formidable financial instrument. It exemplifies the innovative spirit that drives the crypto community and underscores the unpredictable nature of early technological adoption.

As Bitcoin continues to integrate into mainstream finance and everyday transactions, the tale of Laszlo Hanyecz and his pizzas will live on as the legend of where it all began.

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