Covering the technology, people, and culture of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world

Crypto community celebrates Bitcoin Pizza Day

Meme turns into blockchain’s only real holiday, and crypto Twitter is here for it

Bitcoin pizza

The actual two pizza pies bought for BTC 10,000 by Laszlo Hanyecz

On May 22, 2010, two pizza pies were bought by a person named Laszlo Hanyecz through a bitcoin forum. While the pies themselves were mundane, the transaction was revolutionary—they were bought with 10,000 bitcoins, worth roughly $41 at the time. Now that one purchase gages the health of the entire $258 billion cryptocurrency market.

Even the some of the biggest cryptocurrency nuts probably couldn’t tell you if the bitcoin whitepaper came out in 2008 or 2009 (it was January 3, 2009). But while even fewer can tell you the day that Ethereum launched (July 30, 2015),many in blockchain can list May 22 as blockchain’s pretty much only holiday. Bitcoin Pizza Day marks the first verified use of cryptocurrency to facilitate an offline transaction.

Through the magic of a public ledger, we can see that transaction truly went down a little after 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, 2010. A student named Jeremy Sturdivant contacted Hanyecz  on Internet Relay Chat and soon he had two Papa Johns pizzas at his home in Florida.

At Modern Consensus, we spend a lot of time in our decentralized break room talking about the future of blockchain technology and crypto prices. And even we don’t know what the future holds. But as of lunchtime here in New York those 10,000 bitcoins were worth $82,306,400—an all-time high for a Bitcoin Pizza Day.  (Even so, our boss is lactose intolerant, so we will have to enjoy this day at our decentralized desks).

On Bitcoin Pizza Day in 2011, 10,000 bitcoin cost $81,400. By 2012 that went down to $51,200, but then shot up to $1,276,600 in 2013. It then spiked to $5,085,900 in 2014 before tumbling down to $2,364,400 in 2015 and $4,732,000 in 2016. Last Bitcoin Pizza Day, it went for $20,509,958.

You can follow along with the price on Twitter with the deadpan hilarious Bitcoin_Pizza bot. Modern Consensus spoke with the bot’s designer Merijn Bellekom. The programmer told us, “People seemed to like it a lot, with the bot gaining a lot of new followers when the bitcoin price hit certain milestones, like $5,000, $10,000 etc. A fair amount of people RT, reply, and quote it too, adding messages of their own.” However, Bellekom is not a bitcoin speculator. “I haven’t invested in bitcoin (and will not), but it’s a lot of fun to watch.”

So cheers to all of our friends around the world who are carbo-loading at lunch today:

Our friends at Litecoin had a good time this afternoon:

Same at digital asset exchange Huobi Pro.

Nice to see Changelly doing something with their extra large fees.

Bitcoin investor and Instagrammer MrBrdo gets it:

Go big or go home #bitcoinpizzaday

A post shared by @ mrbrdo on

Some take it wicked seriously:

The fellas over at Crypto IQ are having a nice lunch:

It’s not just boys fun:

And, like everything on the blockchain, this is truly a global phenomenon without borders. As shown by the events Bitcoin Slovenia dug up:

But maybe Bitstamp put it best:

So wherever you are, we hope you’re having a great pizza party feeling.

*”Pizza Party” Music video directed by Modern Consensus’ own Brendan Jay Sullivan

Brendan Sullivan is a writer, producer, and author of the memoir Rivington Was Ours: Lady Gaga, the Lower East Side, and the Prime of Our Lives. Disclosure: he owns cryptocurrencies. Follow him on Twitter.