Laszlo Hanyecz

Laszlo Hanyecz, the man behind Pizza Day does not regret his choice

22th May 2024

May 22 is a date consecrated among the community of bitcoiners which celebrates the famous “Pizza Day“. So, it has been customary for 13 years now to eat pizza during this day. If you buy this pizza with bitcoin, it’s even better 😉

Indeed, the origin of this celebration dates back to May 22, 2010, when an engineer named Laszlo Hanyecz spent 10,000 bitcoins on the purchase of two pizzas. If in 2010, 10,000 bitcoins represented the equivalent of 40 euros, today, 10,000 BTC represents more than 690 million dollars at the time of writing this article.

This transaction – which a posteriori seems anecdotal and banal – is considered the very first bitcoin transaction. In other words, it was the first time that a person paid in bitcoin to buy a real-life product.

We can say that this first transaction 🍕 carried out by Laszlo Hanyecz paved the way for payment in bitcoin and marked the beginning of the cryptographic revolution. Since then, and particularly since recent years of strong adoption of bitcoin, we can no longer count the number of shops and things you can buy with bitcoin.

Who is Laszlo Hanyecz?

Laszlo Hanyecz is a Hungarian-born programmer living in Florida. Laszlo is one of the so-called “early adopters” of Bitcoin because he discovered Bitcoin shortly after the publication of the white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.

Laszlo Hanyecz ( source )

Thus, Laszlo Hanyecz had amassed a significant quantity of bitcoin, as early as 2009, while being one of the first bitcoin miners, just like Hal FinneyEg.

Indeed, although he is better known as the man behind Pizza Day, he is actually a brilliant Bitcoin developer. He originated GPU mining to prevent 51% attacks and was the first Bitcoin developer to release the code for Mac OS.

Considering his involvement in the development of Bitcoin, it is not surprising to know that he was the one who first sought to make Bitcoin an exchange currency on the internet.

The first bitcoin transaction in the world

While bitcoin was still in its infancy, he decided to post a historic ad in which he explained that he would give 10,000 bitcoins to any person who ordered two pizzas to be delivered to his home.

pizza day
Source: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=137.0

A person who goes by the pseudonym “Jercos” bought two “Papa John’s” pizzas and sent them to Hanyecz’s home, who then sent the 10,000 bitcoins. The first bitcoin transaction, although indirect, had just taken place.

Shortly after, the course of bitcoin was flying away and many people were pointing out that these were the two most expensive pizzas in the world.

Interviewed on various TV shows in the USA, he is often asked the same question: whether he regrets having sold so much bitcoin for two pizzas. He replied that he does not regret his action although this may be surprising considering that he would have become a multi-millionaire if he had kept his bitcoins…

In all likelihood and very far from moonboys who are interested in bitcoin only for the added value they will derive from it, Laszlo Hanyecz knows that he has contributed to something much greater than his person or his material enrichment.

He can pride himself on having increased the adoption of bitcoin, and is one of the pioneers who showed that bitcoin was a “real” currency, by precisely giving it a price. It was the first time.

With this in mind, what he accomplished is priceless, namely pushing the adoption of Bitcoin…

Final word

To finish this short article on Laszlo Hanyecz, we will use the words of a person who in the Bitcoin Talk forum wrote:

“It is entirely possible that the entire history of currency would have been very different if those 10 BTC were not exchanged for a few pizzas. “Bitcoin” could have simply died quietly, or at least been delayed in its development. Someone had to say “yes btc is worth something and prove it” and this thread is the first legitimate example”.

So, thanks to Laszlo Hanyecz and happy pizza to you all!

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Passionate about Bitcoin, our editors try to democratize their knowledge through varied articles touching on different subjects.

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