How a Bitcoin Pizza Trade Pushed Decentralized Money into the Spotlight 14 Years Ago
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How a Bitcoin Pizza Trade Pushed Decentralized Money into the Spotlight 14 Years Ago

The first real-world Bitcoin transaction, in which two pizzas were bought for 10,000 BTC on May 22, 2010, proved the potential of decentralized digital currency.
Neither the author, Tim Fries, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

Fourteen years ago, on May 22, 2010, two pizzas were bought for 10,000 BTC, a transaction worth over $700 million today. This historic event marked the first documented real-world use of Bitcoin. It demonstrated the potential of decentralized digital currency, setting the stage for a revolution in finance.

Bitcoin is the World’s First Widely-Adopted Decentralized Digital Currency

Bitcoin, the world’s first decentralized digital currency, was introduced by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009. The concept behind Bitcoin was to create a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that would operate without a central authority, such as banks or governments.

Decentralized currencies like Bitcoin offer several advantages over traditional currencies, including lower transaction fees, increased security, and the ability to conduct transactions without intermediaries.

A Programmer from Florida Paid 10,000 BTC for Two Large Pizzas

On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer from Florida, made a post on the BitcoinTalk forum offering to pay 10,000 BTC for two large pizzas.

On the forum, Jeremy Sturdivant (known as “jercos”) accepted the offer and arranged to deliver two Papa John’s pizzas to Hanyecz’s home. This transaction, worth roughly $41 then, marked the first documented real-world use of Bitcoin as a medium of exchange, demonstrating the cryptocurrency’s potential for everyday transactions.

The pizza transaction had an immediate impact on the Bitcoin community. It validated Bitcoin’s use case and encouraged other users to explore real-world applications for the cryptocurrency. The transaction also attracted early media attention, sparking growing curiosity about the potential of digital currencies.

Over the years, the significance of the pizza transaction has only grown. The value of Bitcoin has skyrocketed, with 10,000 BTC worth over $700 million as of 2024.

The Bitcoin Pizza Index, which tracks the value of the pizza transaction over time, has become a popular way to illustrate the cryptocurrency’s growth. The transaction also paved the way for technological advancements in blockchain technology and inspired the creation of numerous other cryptocurrencies.

Would you be willing to buy pizza with BTC today? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: The author does not hold or have a position in any securities discussed in the article.