Bitcoin Pizza Day
annually on May 22nd (since 2010)
Laszlo Hanyecz on May 22nd, 2010
Bitcoin Pizza Day, celebrated mainly by the cryptocurrency community, takes place on the anniversary of the date that cryptocurrency was used to pay for goods for the first time. On May 18, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz of Florida posted in the bitcointalk.org forum, offering 10,000 bitcoins in exchange for some pizza, saying in part, "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." His call was answered, and on May 22, 2010, he posted, "I just want to report that I successfully traded 10,000 bitcoins for pizza." A teenager named Jeremy Sturdivant, who went by "jercos" on the forum, sent Hanyecz two Papa John's pizzas, and received 10,000 bitcoins in return. Sturdivant paid about $25 for the pizza, and the 10,000 bitcoins he received became valued at $41.
The events of the first Bitcoin Pizza Day were monumental because they paved the way for the use of cryptocurrency in the future. Nine months after the transaction, the worth of the bitcoins totaled $10,000, meaning each bitcoin had the value of a dollar. On the five year anniversary, the value of the 10,000 bitcoins had risen to about $2.4 million. At one point in 2017, the value rose to over $100 million. As of September 2018, a bitcoin is valued at about $6,000, meaning the value of the 10,000 bitcoins used to pay for the pizza would be about $60 million.
The history of bitcoin dates to the early 2000s, when attempts were made to create a cryptocurrency, although none were fully developed. In 2008, a paper titled "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" was posted online. The following year, bitcoin became the first cryptocurrency. Its software was made available to the public, and it began being mined. Mining is "the process through which new bitcoins are created and transactions are recorded and verified on the blockchain." With Hanyecz's transaction for goods on the first Bitcoin Pizza Day, bitcoin gained a specific monetary value—up to that point it had only been mined. Rival cryptocurrencies, often known as altcoin, soon emerged. They usually have been created to try to improve an aspect of bitcoin. Early altcoins were Litecoin and Namecoin, and there are now over 1,000.
In 2013, bitcoin's value reached $1,000, but then crashed to about $300. It took a few years to recover. Over time, as it could be spent at more places, bitcoin's popularity continued to grow, as did its value. Time will only tell if the value of bitcoin will continue to rise, but on Bitcoin Pizza Day we can all remember the day the first cryptocurrency transaction for goods took place, and how the value of a transaction for two pizzas once rose to over $100 million.
How to Observe
The best way to celebrate the day is to buy some pizza with a cryptocurrency, bitcoin being the most fitting. In previous years, some payment sites have offered discounts on pizza to those purchasing with bitcoin. PizzaForCoins is one site that people have used to order pizza with cryptocurrency in the past. Some restaurants also accept cryptocurrency, and you could buy a pizza at one of them today.
If you don't have any bitcoin to buy pizza with, you could get some, or another type of cryptocurrency. To better prepare yourself for handling cryptocurrency, you could take an online course or read up on current news about bitcoin. If nothing else, you could celebrate the day by ordering some pizza and checking the Bitcoin Pizza Twitter page.