By Aaron Hankin
Each year, May 22 marks the anniversary of when a Florida man paid for two pizzas in the first Bitcoin transaction. The day has become legendary, less because it was the first commercial use of bitcoins, but because of Bitcoin’s worth in the following years. For the two pizzas, the man in question paid 10,000 bitcoins, which, as of Sept. 11, 2023, is worth over $250 million.
On May 22, 2010, now known as “Bitcoin Pizza Day,” Laszlo Hanyecz, the Florida man, agreed to pay 10,000 bitcoins for the delivery of two Papa John’s pizzas. On the Bitcoin Talk forum, Hanyecz reached out for help. “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,” Hanyecz wrote.1
“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!”
A British man took up Hanyecz’s offer and bought the two pizzas for him in exchange for 10,000 bitcoins. Even then, the recipient of the bitcoins got a bargain, paying $25 for the pizzas, while 10,000 bitcoins were then worth around $41.1
Since that purchase, Hanyeczs’ pizzas have become far more costly. Nine months after the purchase, Bitcoin reached parity with the U.S. dollar, making the two pizzas worth $10,000. In 2015, the fifth anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day, the two pizzas were valued at $2.4 million. On May 22, 2023, Bitcoin was at just over $26,850, making the pizzas worth … you get the point.2
Despite the massive rise in the price of Bitcoin, Hanyecz says he is not phased about his deal. “It wasn’t like bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool,” Hanyecz has said.3
What Was Bitcoin’s Highest Price?
As of September 2023, Bitcoin reached its all-time peak in November 2021, exceeding $65,000 per bitcoin.
What Type of Transaction Is Bitcoin Mostly Used for?
Bitcoin is primarily used for digital transactions. This includes ecommerce purchases, peer-to-peer transfers, and cross-border payments. Moreover, it’s used for international transactions and, increasingly, for banking by those who don’t have access to traditional financial institutions. Among these transactions, though, are those linked with illicit activities, such as darknet trades.
What Is the Average Number of Bitcoin Transactions Daily?
As of 2023, there are an average of almost 500,000 Bitcoin transactions within the blockchain per day, a significant increase from previous years. This surge reflects the growing adoption and use of Bitcoin for digital transactions across the globe.4
The Bottom Line
Bitcoin’s value has gone up significantly since the first Bitcoin Pizza Day, illustrating the cryptocurrency’s impressive growth since its early days, when its worth was fungible for not more than a couple of pizzas. The rise in Bitcoin’s value is a testament to its increasing acceptance and use in digital transactions worldwide. However, Bitcoin has been highly volatile. Its price can fluctuate rapidly, potentially leading to momentous gains and significant losses. Thus, while the growth trajectory of Bitcoin attracts investors, caution and informed decision-making are paramount when investing in this cryptocurrency because of its elevated risk.