Over a decade ago, Bitcoin emerged as the first practical decentralized payments network, incentivizing a distributed web of nodes to secure and maintain the system. Since its launch in 2009, Bitcoin has gone through a myriad of upgrades, improving the network’s performance, and attracting more investors. From being worth near nothing to almost $41,000 today, Bitcoin’s upside seems almost infinite.
Concurrently, blockchain has also seen impressive growth over the last decade, enabling all kinds of innovative applications for the technology, including smart contracts, decentralized finance, and interoperability. Even at $1, Bitcoin’s 40,000x rise over a decade is unparalleled in the world of investments.
Time has tested and proven Bitcoin’s robustness. Created to fly in the face of the traditional, centralized financial system, BTC’s blatant appreciation in the face of global economic recessions is a sign that Satoshi was right all along. However, though it may have taken the world over ten years to realize the brilliance of blockchain-based cryptocurrencies, some caught on early.
On May 22, the world celebrates Bitcoin Pizza Day – a day in 2010, where Florida-based computer programmer Laszlo Hanyecz purchased two pizzas for the price of 10,000 BTC. At current prices, this amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars.
However, while the pizzas were certainly not diamond-studded, or even worth the 10,000 BTC he spent (~$45 at the time), Laszlo Hanyecz has no regrets – and with good reason.
Looking for Laszlo
Phemex, a Singapore-based global cryptocurrency exchange recently announced its accumulation of over 1 million users on its platform, reporting a 156.9% growth in traders on the exchange in Q1 this year alone. The exchange also reported a 465.2% increase in Q1 trade volumes compared to last year and has been consistently implementing new features, keeping its platforms up-to-date, and ensuring an optimal experience through a positive approach to community feedback.
Bitcoin’s meteoric rise over the years has captured the attention of both mainstream media and institutional investors, but its true value lies much deeper. Having spoken with Bitcoin’s anonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto a few times over the Internet, Hanyecz understood the difference between what BTC was worth as a token, and what Bitcoin was worth to the world.
Transactions like Laszlo’s pizza purchases are what supplied Bitcoin to the world back when it wasn’t worth much, and though 10,000 BTC is worth hundreds of millions of dollars today, if he hadn’t bought those pizzas, it might not be worth much more today than it was back then.
Further, though Hanyecz is mostly known for his seemingly overvalued pizza purchases, his contribution to Bitcoin is much more involved.
Before Laszlo entered the scene, Bitcoin could only be mined on CPUs or computer processors. Recognizing the benefits of using a GPU or a graphics card to mine BTC early on, he proceeded to write an algorithm that would later be incorporated into Bitcoin’s code, allowing GPU mining. The man is single-handedly responsible for the rise in demand for GPUs over the last few years, and yet he’s something of an unsung hero in the space.
As a token of appreciation to the Bitcoin Pizza Guy, Phemex is creating a way for Hanyecz to spend his 10,000 BTC – but this time he makes a profit. A short while back, the company announced the launch of its Earn Crypto platform – an asset management service that offers up to 10% APY on deposits of up to 1.5 million USDT.
To celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day and give back to the man behind it, Phemex is offering Laszlo the opportunity to deposit 10,000 BTC onto its Earn Crypto platform. At current prices, this would net him nearly $110,000 profit every single day. This is an incredibly lucrative opportunity, not just for Laszlo, but for the cryptocurrency community as a whole.
The Phemex team is having some trouble getting in touch with Mr. Hanyecz and is offering all kinds of rewards for helping spread the word. Through their Gleam campaign, the firm is giving away an additional $10,000 worth of Bitcoin to the community – whether the Bitcoin Pizza Guy shows up or not.
Paying It Forward
News of these pizza purchases not only generated buzz, but it also permeated Bitcoin’s core philosophy — that money should be decentralized. People are quick to judge the Florida-based programmer for having wasted his millions, but as a miner during the early stages of Bitcoin’s development, the money he spent on pizzas was likely only a small portion of his BTC wealth.
Further, having invented GPU mining, Laszlo was ahead of the mining curve before miners even knew they had to get ahead. Reportedly, Hanyecz currently works as a developer for an apparel brand called GORUCK, which now accepts Bitcoin payments because of his Internet fame.
The world of cryptocurrency and payments still have a lot to accomplish before anyone starts accepting Bitcoin for coffee, or even pizza, but it’s still a lot more recognized than it was a decade ago. Looking back on the history of Bitcoin, it’s funny to think it all started when a hungry Florida-based developer decided to buy dinner with some magic Internet money that would one day become a fortune.