The $90 Million Bitcoin Pizza Story Has an Unexpected Silver Lining

Yesterday, programmer Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 Bitcoin for two Papa John’s pizzas in a transaction that took place ten years ago publicly on the Bitcoin Talk forum.

Bitcoin Pizza ad from 2010 | Source:

Back then, the transaction was largely laughed at – who would want some crappy internet coins for two steamy hot pies worth $ 30-40 in total? But as we now know, that was the first Bitcoin transaction for a real-world item ever.

Since then, May 22 has been considered “ Bitcoin Pizza Day, ” which cryptocurrency investors celebrate every year by buying pizza – if possible with cryptocurrency.

Laszlo’s transaction was considered so fundamentally important that popular crypto analyst Mati Greenspan believed that without that one transaction, BTC would not be where it is today.

Although there is an unfortunate part of this transaction: The 10,000 Bitcoin was once owned by the programmer and what could have been with that wealth.

Today, 10,000 BTC is only worth $ 100 million against $ 92 million, meaning those two pizzas cost $ 46 million a pop.

Many have joked about this – about the wealth Laszlo could have earned if he were “HODLed”, but there may be a strange silver lining in this part of the story.

Related reading: 2.2% of all Ethereum is long on Bitfinex: 3 reasons why this could go wrong

The silver lining for the 10,000 Bitcoin Pizza transaction

According to Nic Carter – partner at Castle Island Ventures and co-founder of Coin Metrics – explained in a recent Twitter thread that Laszlo may have decided to spend his BTC fortune out of debt.

Out of guilt for what? For using his GPU to mine Bitcoin in the first case of BTC mining without a CPU, which Satoshi Nakamoto ultimately largely looked down on in a private email exchange shared by Laszlo. Carter writes:

“I speculate, but it’s entirely possible that a guilty Laszlo decided to ignore some of his GPU-covered BTC by doing a series of pizza transactions.”

Coin Metrics founder backed up this data by looking at blockchain data, indicating that the pizza transaction is in line with the movement of the Bitcoin network problem and the emails with Satoshi. That is, Laszlo executed these trades to spread BTC to the community, rather than keep his “wrongfully obtained” profit to himself.

Carter’s speculation is supported by comments from the ‘Bitcoin Pizza Guy’ himself.

Colin Harper reported in 2019 that when he spoke to Laszlo, the programmer told him that guilt ran through Laszlo’s mind when the topic of GPU mining was discussed by Satoshi Nakamoto:

“Then I thought,” Man, I feel like I messed up your project. Sorry, dude. He was concerned that some people might be discouraged because they can’t mine a block with a CPU. So I stopped advertising afterwards. ‘

Laszlo also added that he sees the transaction as a win for Bitcoin, not a loss to himself, confirming the story that the 10,000 Bitcoin transaction was anything but a mistake.

$ 90 million is just the beginning

Laszlo has largely abstracted from the economic implications of his transaction, but many think those two pizzas may be worth more than $ 90 million in the coming years – and much more than $ 90 million.

For example, Robert “Rich Dad” Kiyosaki recently said that he thinks Bitcoin will be worth $ 75,000 in the next three years. That would mean the pizzas are worth over $ 500 million.

But even then, given what Laszlo said, he wouldn’t mind spending that BTC.

Related Read: Crypto Facts: Satoshi Is Not Dumping Its Bitcoin, China ‘Bans’ Cryptocurrency Mining
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