A Brief History of Bitcoin Pizza Day

Cheesy slice of pizza with pepperoni and mushrooms, and two big Bitcoin logos on the sides, representing Bitcoin Pizza Day.
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Updated on July 19, 2023

It’s May, and in the crypto world, that means it’s time to celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day! In 2010, a BTC miner bought two pizzas using bitcoin, and we’ve been celebrating the fact ever since. It was one of the first documented uses of cryptocurrency to purchase physical goods, and it helped prove the concept of digital currency to the world. So how did Bitcoin Pizza Day start? Let’s take a look at the history of this 12-year-old event!

How it All Started

On May 18, 2010, one miner announced he wanted to buy pizza with BTC on the forum Bitcointalk. The original announcement was: “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. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later… If you're interested, please let me know and we can work out a deal.” The buyer was one of the first crypto adopters in the world. The name of the pizza, and Bitcoin fan, was Laszlo Hanyecz. On May 22nd, 2010, Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 BTC he won mining Bitcoin. His purchase is believed to be the first transaction made with Bitcoin to buy physical items. Since then, every May 22nd, bitcoiners celebrate bitcoin pizza day by buying themselves a slice or two with their favorite cryptocurrency.

The World’s Most Expensive Pizza

The pizzas Hanyecz bought were made by Papa John's pizzas. This isn't surprising because Papa John's was one of many businesses that accepted cryptocurrency back in 2010. The pizza place became incredibly popular after the purchase of the legendary Bitcoin pizzas, and they embraced their fame with pride. They even installed a commemorative wooden plaque with an engraved photo of the order and the phrase “Papa John’s. Makers of the famous Bitcoin Pizzas. May 22, 2010.” Hanyecz’s full order was two piping hot pepperoni and cheese pizzas from one of Papa John's locations in Jacksonville, Florida. Since then, the relationship between this event and the pizza place only grew. For instance, last year, to celebrate the anniversary, Papa John's pizza gave 10,000 free slices to the first customers who arrived at their Jacksonville locations.

From $41 to $370 million in 12 years

At that time, bitcoin was still a very new currency, and their value was measured in fractions of a penny. In May 2010, 10,000 BTC was worth $41 – or so the story goes. Very quickly, Bitcoin multiplied its value, and, nine months after Hanyecz made the purchase BTC and the US dollar reached a 1:1 relation which made each pizza worth $5,000.  Today, that same amount of bitcoin is worth $370 million – nearly $185 million per pizza! To make these money speculations even worse, here goes another fun fact. As you may know, BTC had an all time high of $68k in 2021. By then, both pizzas would have been worth a mind-blowing price of $630 million.

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