If you ask anyone in the blockchain industry about pizza, they’re unlikely to hesitate before telling you about Laszlo Hanyecz. In May 2010, the Florida-based computer programmer announced that he wanted to purchase two pizzas for the price of 10,000 BTC. He said he didn’t care how it was done, just that he wanted to pay someone Bitcoin and receive pizza in return — no gift cards and certainly no fiat exchange.
Eleven years ago, the primary way for people to get their hands on Bitcoin was through direct trade – mostly involving discussions on forums or IRC channels. For generations, humans have searched for a solution to the woes of the financial services industry, so when Bitcoin showed up in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, people started to get more involved.
Laszlo had spent the equivalent of around $41 at the time, but as cryptocurrency exchanges started to pop up, Bitcoin’s value grew rapidly. Within three years, BTC climbed its way up to the $130 mark, making his purchase worth $1.3 million in 2013. Today, the value of 10,000 BTC stands above $450 million.
Despite knowing his holdings could one day become a fortune, the Bitcoin developer relentlessly spent assets worth over $4.5 billion today. It’s not that he didn’t realize what he was holding – it’s that he realized it wouldn’t be worth much at all if people couldn’t spend it.
Phemex, a cryptocurrency exchange headquartered in Singapore, recently announced it had gathered over a million users on the platform. Besides reporting a 156.9% growth in traders on the exchange over Q1 this year, Phemex also reported a 465.2% rise in trade volume compared to the first quarter of 2020.
The Singapore-based exchange has been continually improving the platform’s performance, adding new features, and enhancing its community feedback systems. To celebrate the upcoming Bitcoin Pizza Day on May 22, the exchange platform has created an opportunity for Mr. Hanyecz that’s even more mouth-watering than any Italian savory dish.
Cryptocurrency exchanges would never exist without Bitcoin, and Phemex wants to give back to the person who kickstarted its growth, as well as its community as a whole. Despite having spent a fortune worth of Bitcoin all those years ago, reports suggest Laszlo has no regrets or misconceptions regarding his actions. Hanyecz may be famous for his pizza purchases, but the Jacksonville-based programmer’s contributions to Bitcoin’s code aren’t just impressive – they were instrumental.
Prior to the Bitcoin Pizza Man’s embellishments to the network’s mining algorithm, people had no option but to use CPUs or computer processors to run their mining computations. After his proposal was incorporated, users were able to use the increased performance of their graphics cards or GPUs to mine Bitcoin. Though this may have created a sudden strain on the graphics card supply chain, it was certainly changing the game in more ways than one.
Soon, people were racing to build machines with more computational power than everyone else, competing against the network for a bigger slice of the pie. Laszlo’s contributions to Bitcoin are lauded by few and known by less, but that doesn’t make him any less important. So, as a way of saying thank you to the man that made the world’s first purchase with Bitcoin, Phemex has an interesting offer.
Phemex recently announced their Earn Crypto platform – a lending service that allows traders to earn 10% APY on deposits of up to 1.5 million USDT. On May 22, Phemex is offering Laszlo the opportunity to deposit 10,000 BTC into its Earn Crypto platform – but this time he gets something back.
At those rates, Hanyecz would earn nearly $110,000 in a single day, but the platform is also open to the community. The team at Phemex is still trying to get the word out to the Bitcoin OG and is even offering rewards to community members that help spread the news.
Through its Gleam campaign, the crypto exchange is offering users all kinds of rewards for performing different tasks related to getting the word out there. According to a post on the BitcoinTalk forum thread where he originally conducted the trade, the only reason Hanyecz ever stopped buying pizza with BTC was that its popularity meant he was no longer able to mine thousands of tokens every day.
As the man who invented GPU mining, Laszlo was far ahead of the mining industry back in 2010, and by spending what was probably only a fraction of his wealth in Bitcoin, when its price was less than a dollar, he made the rest of it worth so much more. Give a man a pizza, and you feed him for a day. Give him Bitcoin to buy pizza with, and he’ll never go hungry again.