The year was 2010. Laszlo Hanyecz was a computer programmer in his early 20s working late into the night. Like most programmers his age, it wasn’t unusual to be burning the midnight oil writing code and fixing bugs. And as often happened, shortly before the fast food outlets closed, his thoughts turned to what to have for dinner. Pizza. Yes, that staple of every industrious, dedicated programmer worldwide. But Laszlo didn’t have cash on hand, or a credit card with any credit. What he had instead, was a little-known digital currency called Bitcoin. But Bitcoin was unrecognized by fast-food restaurants during that time. It was seen as “geek money” and had an extraordinarily low value per coin. So on this fateful night of May 22nd, feeling the increasing pangs of hunger, Laszlo went online and posted an ad on the BitcoinTalk forum. He said he’d offer anyone 10,000 Bitcoins if they’d pay for two large pizzas for him. (He wanted enough pizza to last him for the night and then have some leftovers for the next morning.) Jercos, a fellow BitcoinTalk user from the UK, took him up on this offer. Jercos placed a call to a Papa John's pizzeria near Laszlo's home and paid for it using his credit card. The pizza was then delivered to Laszlo, who transferred the 10,000 Bitcoins to Jercos in payment.
This may have been the first real-life transaction involving Bitcoin! It turned many heads and got a lot of mouths talking. However, that decision would seriously haunt Laszlo for the rest of his life. At the time the transaction was made back in 2010, bitcoins were worth $0.04. Laszlo’s 10,000 Bitcoins were worth a little bit over $40. But fast forward 12 years later, Bitcoin has experienced an astronomical rise in value. In 2010, a single Bitcoin was only worth $0.04 but is now worth tens of thousands of dollars! At the time of writing this article, the last Bitcoin high had topped the $68,000 mark (2021 Cycle)! And despite dropping substantially now and then, it often bounced back after hitting major support levels. And there are still signs it will beat its all time high in the future, after the bear market drop that so far has come in a timely matter. What does this mean for Laszlo? It means the Papa John’s pizza he ate back in 2010 would’ve been worth around half a billion dollars at the top of the 2021 bull market! There’s no way to wrap your head around this. You can only feel sorry for Laszlo. Or angry at him. The truth is that in investing timing is everything! He didn’t miss the Bitcoin train. He got in and jumped right out of it as it was leaving the station. If only he didn’t crave pizza on that day and kept his 10,000 bitcoins. He’d have been worth at least a few hundred million dollars today.
Bitcoin lovers have immortalized Laszlo and the day of the transaction. On May 22 every year, crypto enthusiasts celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day in memory of the event. Many wished they could go back in time, and be the ones getting paid 10,000 bitcoins. And Laszlo himself has gone on podcasts to say he doesn’t regret the transaction, and that he's happy to be seen as a Bitcoin pioneer. But who wouldn’t regret missing out on a few hundred million dollars and even at the top of this last cycle of 2021 half a billion dollars? Who wouldn’t regret missing out on 10,000 bitcoins that could become 10 billion dollars in the next decade? Of course, no one can blame Laszlo for his actions back when Bitcoin was a little bit older than a year. No one could have speculated the phenomenon that it would become. Not even its creator, the mysterious ‘Satoshi’, made such bold predictions. But to anyone who’s heard the story, he’s simply the guy who ate a multimillion dollar pizza. He’s the guy who ate the pizza that could’ve made him rich. He’s the guy who sold his cryptocurrency way too early.
*What is cryptocurrency?
cryptocurrency is a digital currency that uses cryptography (the art of writing or solving codes) to secure transactions. Unlike traditional money, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin are not tangible assets. Instead of keeping bills in their wallets, crypto owners use digital wallets or other digital storage means, even offline. Users can spend, exchange or buy their coins through online exchanges. In a way, it's technically not that different from using a credit card, PayPal, or other online services. However, cryptocurrencies couldn't be more different than traditional money we're all familiar with and have used for all of our lives. The decentralization aspect is one of the core elements that make a crypto coin occupy its own unique space. If you're unfamiliar with traditional money, here's how it works. The bills you have in your wallet or the money in your bank account are backed by a central bank. Take the U.S. dollar, for example. It has value because it's backed by the U.S. Government. Decentralized Cryptocurrencies, on the other hand, aren't governed, backed, or issued by banks, but are peer-to-peer currencies. They only have their users to back them, and they do so through transactions.
Every transaction of a cryptocurrency is recorded on its blockchain or ledger, as some people call it. A new transaction gets added to the blockchain with every new purchase, sale, or trade of a cryptocurrency. What makes things interesting is that the ledger acts like a public database that any crypto holder can verify. Transactions go through complex validation processes to prevent fraud and the exposure of personal information about the users behind the exchange. In this way, anonymity and privacy are kept for both the buyer and seller. Think of money, all types of money, as a social agreement. Fiat currency, like the money you have in your wallet, is a “Social Agreement” between you and the government. This social agreement extends to any person who accepts the government, or the validity of that currency. This is why different notes can be exchanged worldwide. However, if you travel to the middle of the Amazon Forest, where the villagers receive no contact from the outside world, show them a 100-dollar US bill and they will question its value. They would look at you with questioning eyes and wonder why you give so much value to a piece of paper or plastic.
You cannot eat it, you cannot use it as a filtration device, you cannot hunt with it - it has no intrinsic value to them. The value given to any object in this world is only worth what the two parties agree upon. This is why “Knowledge” has always been and still is the oldest form of currency, even before sex and food! After all, you also need to ‘know’ the art of properly acquiring both. A decentralized cryptocurrency is a “Social Agreement” that is not “Centralized” (having a center) with a specific government, but functions as a “Peer to Peer” transaction. In that sense, it can be done from anywhere in the world, and therefore it is “Decentralized”. Cryptocurrencies are one of the most valuable assets in the world today– partly because the technology can revolutionize our financial system and also because of their potential to create generational-level wealth in a short amount of time.
Generational wealth is all about the right timing and delayed gratification. In fact, with the right timing, anyone could have turned a $50K investment into 1.2 million dollars (a 24X return) at the start of the previous bitcoin bull cycle of 2020. I experienced this myself without using leverage, just by buying and holding. In this modern age of instant gratification, not many people are patient enough to wait for their money to grow, and this is why so many miss out. Time, after all, is the greatest leverage humans possess!
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: Introduction to Cryptocurrency : The Half Billion-Dollar Pizza | Christian Orok Of Inbox Naira | INBOXNAIRA
: The year was 2010. Laszlo Hanyecz was a computer programmer in his early 20s working late into the night. Like most pr...