Bitcoin has been time-tested for its robustness in the face of global economic uncertainty and as a hedge against unchecked inflation rates worldwide. The blockchain industry has grown by orders of magnitude over the last decade, producing incredible use-cases for decentralized ledger technology year after year. Digital assets have grown from a market capitalization of $175 billion in early 2020 to a $2 trillion economy today, and there’s still a lot of room for growth.
In 2010, less than two years after Satoshi Nakamoto published the seminal Bitcoin whitepaper, a programmer from Florida named Laszlo Hanyecz was growing an appetite for a particular Italian savory meal. The world still doesn’t know just how valuable cryptocurrencies could become, but with how far blockchain has come since its inception, the outlook seems optimistic.
On May 22, Hanyecz made a post on the BitcoinTalk forum – a discussion board where most of the conversation surrounding Bitcoin’s early development occurred. In his post, Laszlo said that he was willing to send 10,000 BTC to anyone who could procure him two pizzas. Back then, ten thousand Bitcoin was worth little more than $41. Today, it’s worth nearly half a billion dollars.
Laszlo’s purchases (he made the same deal nine more times in the months that followed) were instrumental to Bitcoin’s initial stages. News of the Bitcoin Pizza Guy spread far and wide, bringing some much-needed traction to the world’s first cryptocurrency. Hanyecz was no cryptocurrency novice when he spent nearly a hundred thousand Bitcoin over the course of a summer, and it’s pointless to calculate how much it’s worth today without accounting for how his spending impacted Bitcoin’s growth.
According to messages sent on the original BitcoinTalk thread, Laszlo only stopped buying pizza with BTC because the rising competition brought down his mining efficiency, preventing him from procuring thousands of Bitcoin a day. 10,000 BTC may worth hundreds of millions today, but he overpaid for those pizzas even at $41 back then. However, the effect of his actions spread far beyond his appetite.
Phemex’s Growth and Giving Back to the Community
When Bitcoin was initially introduced over a decade ago, the global economy was still recovering from the financial crisis of 2008. In fact, the concept of Bitcoin was sparked by this very crisis, which cemented the view of employing trusted centralized parties as an inadequate solution to the issues in financial services.
At the time, Bitcoin exchanges were few and far between, so even people in the know had a hard time getting their hands on it. With digital assets, or any currency really, value very much depends on perception, and unless Bitcoin could be perceived as a viable alternative to fiat currencies, adoption would forever remain a pipe dream.
Phemex, a global cryptocurrency exchange based in Singapore, recently announced that it had crossed 1 million users on its trading platform, reporting a 156.9% increase in the number of individual traders in just Q1 this year. Last quarter, the exchange also reported a surge in trade volumes of 465.2% compared to Q1 last year, but this is really no surprise.
Phemex has consistently implemented new functionality, platform upgrades, and community engagement programs to ensure each of its million users has an optimal experience. With Bitcoin Pizza Day coming up this month, the global exchange wants to catch Laszlo Hanyecz’s attention, and have created a lucrative opportunity for both the Bitcoin Pizza Guy himself and the Phemex community as a whole.
According to reports, Hanyecz has no regrets about his spending habits in 2010. Though he is most famous for his pizza purchases, the Florida-based programmer contributed heavily to Bitcoin’s codebase back in the day and even wrote the algorithm that enabled GPU mining on the network.
Graphics cards (GPUs) are much more efficient than regular computer processors (CPUs) for mining Bitcoin. While GPU mining isn’t as prominent in today’s ASIC-dominated mining industry, his contribution kickstarted a global ever-escalating race for better mining hardware. Despite his significant contributions to the Bitcoin space, Laszlo is still stuck labeled as the pizza guy.
However, to celebrate the upcoming Bitcoin Pizza Day on May 22, Phemex is offering Hanyecz an opportunity that’s far more lucrative than any pair of pizzas could be. Having launched their Earn Crypto platform recently, the exchange is calling out to Laszlo to deposit his 10,000 BTC once more – except this time, he gets to make a profit. Phemex’s Earn Crypto platform offers a 10% APY on deposits up to 1.5 million USDT, and a single day of depositing 10,000 BTC onto the platform would net Hanyecz nearly $110,000.
The Singapore-headquartered trading platform is still trying to get the word out to the Bitcoin Pizza Guy, and is even offering rewards to community members that aid in their efforts. Through their Gleam Campaign, Phemex is offering its community $10,000 in prizes for performing specific tasks related to spreading the news. Further, the Earn Crypto platform is open to anyone with an account on the exchange, and at a 10% APY, it isn’t a lucrative opportunity for Laszlo alone.
When it comes to the 10,000 BTC pizzas, the attention shouldn’t be on how those assets would now be worth millions, or that the pizzas weren’t even worth it at the time. The point is that he wanted to and was able to buy something with Bitcoin. In retrospect, with how BTC has appreciated over the years, it was undoubtedly a well-educated bet, and with events like Phemex’s celebration of Bitcoin Pizza Day coming soon, he’s likely glad he made it.