Man Who Spent the Equivalent of $800 Million in Bitcoin on 2 Papa John’s Pizzas Gives First Television Interview

May 21, 2019 | No Comments » | Topics: Story

Laszlo Hanyecz bitcoin pizza

Eight years ago, on May 22, 2010, a programmer purchased two large Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins, worth about $30 at the time. It’s widely believed to be the first purchase of a product with bitcoin

Bitcoin was less than two years old when Laszlo Hanyecz decided to spend some of the coins he had mined on some real-world goods. The coins were worth just a fraction of a cent at the time, and no merchant accepted them as a means of payment. So he posted on the main gathering place for bitcoiners at the time, the Bitcointalk forum:

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. 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!

Nearly 10 years later, that same amount of Bitcoin is worth roughly $800 million USD (~$8000 USD per BTC). In a new interview with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, Hanyecz sat down to discuss the transaction and his history with the cryptocurrency, noting that he’d probably spent more than 100,000 BTC on pizza since then.

On Sunday, Hanyecz appeared on 60 Minutes, where Anderson Cooper quizzed him about what is considered the first real-world transaction involving Bitcoin.

“That’s $800 million. You spent about $800 million on pizza?” Cooper asked. 

“Well, if you look at today’s exchange rate,” Hanyecz responded, alluding to Bitcoin’s low value at the time.

When asked if the “what ifs” of the situation keep him up at night, Hanyecz said that he tries not to dwell on the situation in hopes to protect his peace of mind.

“I think thinking like that, it’s not good for me,” he said.

This isn’t the first time that Hanyecz said he had come to terms with his actions. “I don’t regret it. I think that it’s great that I got to be part of the early history of Bitcoin in that way, and people know about the pizza and it’s an interesting story because everybody can kind of relate to that and be [like] – ‘Oh my God, you spent all of that money,” he told Coin Telegraph recently. “I was also kind of giving people tech support on the forums and I ported Bitcoin to MacOS, and you know, some other things – fix bugs and whatnot, and I’ve always kind of just wanted people to use Bitcoin and buying the pizza was one way to do that. I didn’t think it would get as popular as it has, but it’s gotten to be a really catchy story for people.”



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