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Internet Commemorates the Man Who Spent Millions Worth of Bitcoin on Pizza

Nine years later, the Bitcoin Pizza Man is still famous.



Hanyecz's daughter reaching for Papa John's pizza, one of the two that he made a historical purchase of with Bitcoin.

Laszlo Hanyecz

On May 22, 2010, a hungry man made history; he traded 10,000 Bitcoin for two pizzas from Papa John’s, the first-ever recorded real-world transaction involving Bitcoin.

Back then, Bitcoin was worth less than a penny. Now, that man may have spent over $80 million in current Bitcoin value.

This past Sunday, 60 Minutes’ Anderson Cooper interviewed Laszlo Hanyecz, the famous “Bitcoin pizza guy,” where he asked: “Are there nights you wake up, where you think, ‘I could have had $800 [sic] million… if I hadn’t bought those pizzas?’”

“I think (that) thinking like that is… not really good for me,” replied the Florida-based programmer. He doesn’t regret spending his Bitcoin stash on pizza. Since then, he cashed in the rest before they rose to $1 value so he could buy a computer.

The transaction had a middleman, too. Nine years ago, Hanyecz posted on Bitcoinctalk.org forum where he solicited users to deliver two pizzas to him for 10,000 Bitcoins.  He wrote below:

“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.  You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place, but what I'm aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins where I don't have to order or prepare it myself, kind of like ordering a 'breakfast platter' at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you're happy!

I like things like onions, peppers, sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepperoni, etc.. just standard stuff no weird fish topping or anything like that.  I also like regular cheese pizzas which may be cheaper to prepare or otherwise acquire.

If you're interested please let me know and we can work out a deal.”

Later he added:

"This is an open offer by the way.. I will trade 10,000 BTC for 2 of these pizzas any time as long as I have the funds (I usually have plenty).  If anyone is interested please let me know.  The exchange is favorable for anyone who does it because the 2 pizzas are only about 25 dollars total, maybe 30 if you give the guy a nice tip.  If you get me the upgraded extra large ones or something, I can throw in some more bitcoins, just let me know and we'll work something out.

My 1 year old daughter really enjoys pizza too!  She just smears it all over her face if you give her a whole slice, but she does eventually manage to get most of it in her mouth (minus a few loose toppings of course).”

 

A teenager named Jeremy Sturdivant took him up on the offer.  Hanyecz posted proof in that forum that a transaction was completed. Sturdivant said he later spent the 10,000 coins when they were worth a couple hundred dollars into fiat for a trip.

Later in a 2018 interview, Sturdivant said that he still buys and sells pizza in cryptocurrency with Bitcoin and that he prefers pizza with meat and red onions. Although, “for a little controversy, I like ‘Hawaiian’ pizza a lot.”

Nowadays people can spend crypto-currency on pizza through sites like PizzaForCoins. According to Blockchain, there are now 379,118 transactions per day.  This month, people will certainly celebrate on May 22 by spending cryptocurrency on pizza in his honor as they've done every year since 2010. 

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