Bitcoin Pizza Day: How two pizzas chart the rise of the cryptocurrency

Today marks ‘Bitcoin Pizza Day’, eight years since programmer Laszlo Hanyecz used 10,000 bitcoins (then worth $30), to purchase two large Papa John’s pizzas.

Believed to be the first purchase of a physical product with the cryptocurrency, the 2010 transaction helps to chart the uptake of bitcoin’s use, which, although slow and sporadic by both retailers and consumers alike, is becoming increasingly mainstream.

In that time, more cryptocurrencies have been brought into the fold. WGSN has reported in our Beyond Bitcoin: Cryptocurrency Strategies for Retail report that, over the next 12 months, retailers will need to decide which cryptocurrencies to accept, with some cryptocurrency insider deeming this method of payment the future of retail.


bitcoin pizza day

Uptake may be slow, but the anniversary of this transaction highlights the stratospheric rise of bitcoin’s value.

In its infancy when Hanyecz decided to spend some of the coins he’d mined, bitcoin was worth a fraction of a cent. Given today’s rates, 10,000 bitcoins for the same two pizzas would be an approximate $82 million order – over $4 million dollars a slice.

Best described as a decentralised, virtual currency which exists only in the digital space, bitcoin isn’t backed by a solid commodity – such as gold – that determines its value, similar to most state currencies. No longer based on the gold standard, these “flat” currencies include the US dollar, euro, Japanese yen, or British pound, and have a face value equivalent to what their issuers says it is. If the US says its dollar is worth a dollar, users perceive it to be so.

With bitcoin, the value is also based on perception, also factoring in belief in its future potential, and trust in the technology. Therefore, its steep rise in value in less than a decade 10 years suggests both a confidence in the currency and potential for longevity and widespread adoption.

If you want to track the value of the pizzas today, CoinDesk have released a realtime value tracker (that we’ve been obsessively monitoring all day).



And here, at WGSN, we look forward to tracking the worth of pizzas over another 8 years.

Want to become an expert in all things cryptocurrency? Read WGSN Insight’s New Ways to Pay: Currency Campaigns report.

Curious as to how they fit into the retail landscape? Bitcoin is covered in our Retail Priorities 2018  forecast.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

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