The Story Behind the Day Bitcoin Made Pizza the World’s Most Expensive Meal

Well before bitcoin was crowned as an alternative asset class or caught the attention of institutional and celebrity investors, it lived in swamps and deserts.

It was just an experiment between cypherpunks and cryptographers without any market value or real applications.

On May 18, 2010 – after 14 months of Bitcoin genesis block – a computer programmer, Laszlo Hanyecz, posted on that he was willing to buy two pizzas for a price of 10,000 bitcoins.

He wanted two large ones, because he liked having pizza left over, and warned he didn’t want “weird fish toppings or anything like that.”

At the time, 10,000 bitcoins were estimated to be about $41. For the first few days, not many people accepted or interested in Laszlo’s proposal.

But on the fourth day, May 22, another forum member, then 19-year-old Jeremy Sturdivant of California, took the deal and had two Papa John’s pizzas delivered to Laszlo, Florida.

This date has come to be known as Bitcoin Pizza Day and the value of those pizzas is now $298,175,464!

Bitcoin Pizza Day is not about the man who (what now) gave away millions of dollars in bitcoin for a few pizzas.

It’s much more than that.

This was the first time that bitcoin was used as a medium of exchange, one of the main roles of money, and was used in a real world application with the intended creation of 0 peer-to-peer transactions without an intermediary.

Bitcoin Pizza Day played a key role in the evolution of bitcoin, showing the world how messy the price discovery of new tokens can be early in its life cycle.

Hanyecz, who wrote the first GPU miner, eventually handed over about 100,000 bitcoins that U.S. summer to people who bought him lunch.

And here is his original post from

The Original Bitcoin/Pizza Post in 2010

As for Sturdivant, no, he’s not a 30-year-old multimillionaire these days. Not long after the deal, he released the bitcoin while traveling across the US with his girlfriend on vacation.

As he told the UK Telegraph a few years ago, “If I had treated it (the bitcoin) as an investment, I might have lasted a little longer.”

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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