What Is Bitcoin Pizza Day & Why Do Crypto Fans Care?

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What is Bitcoin Pizza Day all about? Each year on May 22, the world of crypto celebrates the quaint story of a man who was really hungry, so he bought some pizza. This may not seem like a remarkable feat, but crypto heads celebrate this day because it was the first time a person successfully traded bitcoin for real-world goods. 

Aside from the fact that lots of people enjoy both pizza and bitcoin (BTC), there isn’t a ton of evidence to suggest these things would end up being celebrated together on their own pseudo-holiday. So, what is Bitcoin Pizza Day really about? Is it merely about enjoying tasty ‘za while hodling your BTC in perfect harmony? Not quite.

Why Is Bitcoin Pizza Day Celebrated?

Bitcoin Pizza Day commemorates the day when a man named Laszlo Hanyecz decided to prove a real-world use case for some bitcoin he had acquired. On May 18, 2010, Hanyecz expressed his desire to trade 10,000 BTC in exchange for a couple of pizzas by posting to the forum BitcoinTalk.org. That seems like a hefty price to pay for a couple pizzas in hindsight, but keep in mind Hanyecz made this post when the price of BTC was roughly $0.01. 

Hanyecz went on to describe his taste preferences as fairly standard but did call out his aversion to adventurous toppings, specifying “no weird fish topping or anything like that,” in his forum post. Fast-forward three days later to May 22, and Hanyecz received two Papa John’s pizzas: one cheese and one supreme.

Little did he know that 10,000 BTC price he paid for a pair of pizzas in May 2010 would be worth a staggering $365 million today.

How Did Laszlo Hanyecz Pay 10,000 BTC for 2 Pizzas?

Fellow bitcoin enthusiast Jeremy Sturdivant noticed Hanyecz’s post and found it too good an opportunity to pass up. Sturdivant was the one who ended up trading the 10,000 BTC for the pizzas, making him the broker in the world’s first known instance of someone making a physical purchase using the novel digital currency.

For his role in facilitating the purchase of pizzas for bitcoin, Sturdivant earned the 10,000 BTC. So, how did Sturdivant enjoy those newfound riches? He spent them all on travel. “If I had treated it as an investment, I might have held on a bit longer,” Sturdivant told the Coin Telegraph in 2018. 

Why Does Bitcoin Pizza Day Matter?

Trading thousands of bitcoin for two pizzas might seem like an ill-advised trade by today’s standards. Nonetheless, even though that nearly $365 million price in today’s BTC value is way too much to fork over for a couple of pizzas, there was value in this exchange. Hanyecz — with Sturdivant’s help — made the world’s first purchase of a tangible asset with bitcoin. Until that point, bitcoin was a technology that needed a proof of concept. And Hanyecz’s legendary pizza trade bolstered the crypto community’s vision of bitcoin’s promise. 

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