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The first-ever Bitcoin transaction was used to buy two pizzas – today, it’s worth $150 million

Bitcoin is massively volatile and has been on epic run this year.

The cryptocurrency started the year at roughly US$1000 (AU$1300). As I write this, it is worth a staggering USD$11,534 (AU$15,000) a coin. By the time you read this it will probably be worth more.

When it comes to Bitcoin, there are plenty of tales of woe and success out there. Gizmodo‘s Campbell Simpson recently wrote an article lamenting the fact that he had thrown out AU$7.6 million in Bitcoin (now it’s more like AU$16 million, buddy).

If you think that’s bad, let’s all spare a thought for a developer named Laszlo Hanyecz who is credited with making the first Bitcoin transaction ever.

In May 2010, when Bitcoin was worth a measly US$0.08, Hanyecz posted on the Bitcoin Forum that he’d use 10,000 bitcoins to pay for a couple of pizzas.

In what has become easily the most expensive food order ever, Hanyecz said that he liked having leftover pizza to nibble on, adding:

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!

Within a few days, Hanyecz was contacted by Jeremy Sturdivant, an 18-year-old who called a pizza store in Florida and arranged to have two pizzas sent to Hanyecz for the princely sum of US$25.

“I just want to report that I successfully traded 10,000 bitcoins for pizza,” Hanyecz wrote on May 22, a day now known by the cryptocurrency community as “Bitcoin Pizza Day”.

On 2017’s Bitcoin Pizza Day, those two pizzas were worth about USD$20,000,000 (AUD$26,000,000). Today they have skyrocketed to about $115,000,000 (AUD$150,000,000).

So what happened to Hanyecz and Sturdivant? Both of them seem unfazed by the whole thing.

“3-4 years ago there were less than 100 people frequenting this forum, and I was pretty happy to trade 10,000 coins for pizza,” wrote on the same forum in 2014.

“I mean people can say I’m stupid, but it was a great deal at the time. I don’t think anyone could have known it would take off like this.”

If it makes Hanyecz feel any better, Sturdivant said in an interview that he quickly spent those 10,000 coins when they were worth about $400 bucks.

Perhaps they both have a few more Bitcoin in their stash and aren’t too worried, or maybe they just really don’t care about the fact they threw away $115 million (and counting).

If you do have some Bitcoin and want pizza, there is a website that can do it for you.

PizzaForCoins will find the closest option near you and arrange delivery. I put in my address and can get a pizza of my choice delivered for just 0.002600 Bitcoin. At AUD$39 that’s still a little steep, but a far better deal than $150 million.

Keep an eye out for the price of those pizzas next May.

About the author

Stefan is an Adelaide-based freelance writer. In his spare time, he plays tennis badly, collects vinyl and brushes up on his Mandarin. Follow Stefan on Twitter

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