On May 22, the cryptocurrency community celebrates international Bitcoin Pizza Day. Less than two years after Satoshi Nakamoto published the nine-page Bitcoin whitepaper, Laszlo Hanyecz legitimized the use of cryptocurrency with the purchase of two pizzas for 10,000 BTC.
Bitcoin Pizza Day
There are thousands of cryptocurrencies, but Bitcoin, even to this day, remains an undeniably ingenious manifestation of blockchain technology. From modest beginnings to a trillion-dollar market cap, Bitcoin has stood the test of time. Laszlo Hanyecz was indeed one of the early contributors responsible for what many consider a fundamental marketing masterpiece for Bitcoin adoption.
In the initial days, there weren’t any reliable venues where Bitcoin trades can be conducted. Instead, BTC was traded via direct communication through discussion boards and Internet Relay Chat rooms. This was the time when the cryptocurrency, helmed as an experimental technology, was worth only a few cents.
The Florida-based programmer, Hanyecz, went on to become the first person to use Bitcoin in a commercial transaction after paying 10,000 BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas on May 22, 2010. At the time of purchase, Bitcoin was worth $41. Today, 10,000 BTC would cost around $300 million today.
Beyond Pizza Purchases
Laszlo Hanyecz is more than just “that guy” who bought Pizzas with 10,000 BTC that the internet loves to sensationalize. In honor of Bitcoin Pizza Day, let’s look into his groundbreaking contributions beyond the pizza purchase.
Apart from fixing many vulnerabilities during the early stages of the network, Hanyecz was also the first developer to release the Bitcoin code for Mac OS.
He also transformed the Bitcoin mining landscape. Much before the onset of application-specific integrated chips (ASICs), Bitcoin was being mined using CPU.
The transition to GPU mining didn’t happen until Hanyecz developed a mining code that enabled miners to mine BTC using their graphics cards [GPUs]. At that time, even Satoshi Nakamoto, who had frequently exchanged several messages with him, thought that introducing GPU mining was too advanced for Bitcoin’s development.
Bitcoin has managed to capture of imagination of many industry stalwarts, but it’s time the community recognizes the commitment and efforts of the many Bitcoin OGs, including Hanyecz, who helped the digital asset become what it is today.