Justifying Laszlo Hanyecz’s 10,000Btc Pizza fee.

Cryptocurrency Scripts
5 min readMay 19, 2021



Alright, I get it; his name is unarguably less popular than his action, but in 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz paid some 10,000 (ten thousand) Bitcoins for two Papa John’s pizza. Dumb move right? Yea, ‘very dumb’, you must say.

Technically, Laszlo, didn’t exchange his tons of bitcoins for just two pizzas. In a recent interview with Coinmarketcap, he said

They gave me this little golden pepperoncino. I got some other stuff from them, little pins and stickers. And they give me like $500 or something of store credit so I could order pizza for a while.

To be fair Laszlo Hanyecz exchanged 10,000 bitcoins for; two papa John’s pizzas, a golden pepperoncino and $500 store credit. Surely, he got a couple more pizzas from his 10,000 bitcoins.

However, at the current price of over $40,000 for just one bitcoin, this still is still one of the ‘dumbest’ moves ever made. Even a golden pepperoncino and a lifetime store credit wouldn’t compare to over 400 (four hundred) million dollars. There’s an infinite list of unbelievable things one could do with such number of bitcoins at the current value. Personally, I’ll love to buy my way to the top rich list of certain altcoins and of course, a blue coloured Lamborghini!


But Laszlo was not really ‘dumb’, at least not at the time he sold those bitcoins. Two large pizzas for a ‘common’ cryptographic token in your wallet is unarguably a good deal, great deal I must say. With some add-ons which includes a $500 store credit, I would also do away with a then valueless 10,000 tokens of whatever the name might be.

I wouldn’t do so at the current price, no one will, not even satoshi who owns a million bitcoin.

One thing for sure is, considering the reputation of bitcoin at the time of this deal, Laszlo made a good choice, unfortunately, contemporarily, this is unthinkable. But a look at the history of bitcoin, Laszlo Hanyecz’s deal with Jeremy Sturdivant is still worth it. Even with over ninety-billion-dollar worth of bitcoins at stake.

The pizza deal with Jeremy Sturdivant two pay for two Papa John (one of the most reputable pizza makers out there) pizzas with 10,000 Bitcoins represents the first real life exchange using bitcoin. Unarguably one of the most important events in the history of bitcoin. And for sure a big role player in the up-rise of bitcoin both in reputation and price. For the first time ever, the possibility of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies being used as a medium of exchange for real-life items was showcased.
Laszlo speaking about this, stated;

People always ask. Yes, I wish I still had 10,000 Bitcoin, but that was a long time ago, and I still was glad to be part of it. I mean, I’m talking to you about it now. Bitcoin is still around. It’s popular. I get to be one of the pioneer guys. That’s worth something.

In a separate interview, he said;

I’d like to think that what I did helped. But I think if it wasn’t me, somebody else would have come along. And maybe it wouldn’t have been pizza. But I think Bitcoin was kind of destined to get big, and I didn’t know everything about Bitcoin back then — I mean, I had only been playing with it a couple months, and I figured out how to mine, I actually wrote the first GPU miner — and that’s how I got all those Bitcoins that I was kind of giving away.

Jeremy Sturdivant who received those bitcoins also spent them later on by turning them into fiat and paying for his trip expenses. These chains of bitcoin utilization pioneered the current mainstream adoption and use of bitcoin in countless commercial activities.

Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned a “Peer-to-peer electronic cash system”. Creating an electronic technology which enables its users to exchange value in a more flexible way was the original goal of cryptocurrencies. Current cryptocurrency enthusiasts are unfortunately more concerned about the price of cryptocurrencies and making profits by trading these cryptocurrencies, while this further expands the utility of bitcoin and cryptocurrency as whole, it is a remarkable deviation from the original goal of the technology.

Even Satoshi will be very happy with Laszlo’s pizza transaction, but…that was a whole lot of bitcoin!

The end justifies the means. If that’s what it takes to steer bitcoin and cryptocurrency into making a remarkable upset in the global economy, then certainly anyone will do the same. And Laszlo Hanyecz is easily one of bitcoin’s biggest heroes, just behind Satoshi Nakamoto.

Satoshi Nakamoto created bitcoin; Laszlo Hanyecz gave it a value.


Apart from his famous pizza deal, Laszlo have remained a bitcoin enthusiast and still believes and works towards adding more value to bitcoin by creating/developing more features which makes bitcoin technology more useful, noteworthy of this is his involvement in bitcoin’s lightning network once again buying pizzas with bitcoin and for another time showing how bitcoin could be used in mainstream exchange.

Speaking on this, he said;

I think the Lightning Network is definitely the goal there, to bring more usability to people, because it really does enable instant payments, and Bitcoin payments are not instant. If you’re accepting with zero confirmation of payment, you’re not really doing it correctly. And that’s okay to do if you’re gonna extend trust to people — because same thing happens with a credit card — all you have is the promise today, you haven’t actually gotten paid.

The lightning network according to him will solve bitcoin’s non-instant transaction issue.

Alright, I get it, you still don’t think that pizza transaction and what ever it may have done for bitcoin and cryptocurrency is not worth 10,000 bitcoins especially with what it is worth today, you’re certainly not alone, I’m sure Laszlo feels same too.

But if we could pause for a minute and look at the bigger picture, it was really worth it…all of it. And for the fact that he got more pizzas after that for free, Laszlo didn’t lose out completely and he paid the liberation price for cryptocurrency and took a big step in the achievement of the Satoshi vision, the biggest of them.

Get the full interviews with Laszlo Hanyecz

Speaking with Cointelegraph

Speaking with Coinmarketcap

Earn 258USDT when you sign up to trade cryptocurrencies on Bityard

Would you love to read similar articles?

Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Medium
Follow us on Publish0x