Monday marks the seven-year anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day – the moment a programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz spent 10,000 bitcoin on two Papa John's pizzas.
More important than the episode being widely recognized as the first transaction using the cryptocurrency is what it tells us about the bitcoin rally that saw it break through the $2,100 and $2,200 marks on Monday.
On May 22, 2010, Hanyecz asked a fellow enthusiast on a bitcoin forum to accept 10,000 bitcoin for two Papa John's Pizzas. At the time, Hanyecz believed that the coins he had "mined" on his computer were worth around 0.003 cents each.
Bitcoin mining involves solving a complex mathematical solution with the miner being rewarded in bitcoin. This is how Hanyecz got his initial coins.
The cryptocurrency has many doubters as it continues to be associated with criminal activity, but it has still seen a stunning rally. Here are two facts, on Bitcoin Pizza Day, however, that highlight this:
- While being worth $30 at the time, Hanyecz pizzas would now cost $22.5 million at current bitcoin prices.
- If you bought $100 of bitcoin at the 0.003 cent price on May 22, 2010, you'd now be sitting on around $75 million.
A number of factors have been driving the rally:
- Recently passed legislation in Japan that allows retailers to start accepting bitcoin as a legal currency has boosted trading in yen, which now accounts for over 40 percent of all bitcoin trade
- Political uncertainty globally has driven demand for bitcoin as a safe haven asset
- A debate within the bitcoin community about the future of the underlying technology behind bitcoin known as the blockchain has been taking place. There was fear at one point this could lead to the creation of two separate cryptocurrencies but those worries have largely subsided with an alternative, more palatable option now being put forward.