While many like to use Bitcoin Pizza Day as a meme, he made Satoshi Nakamoto’s goal a reality with their invention: digital money without intermediaries.
Bitcoin Pizza Day is probably the famous memorial day in Bitcoin history. This alludes to the day BTC was first used to buy a real-world product, May 22, 2010.
The transaction took place after Laszlo Hanyecz posted on the most active Bitcoin communication medium at the time – the Bitcoin Talk forum:
“I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a few pizzas…like maybe 2 big ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left some pizza to snack on later. You can make the pizza yourself and bring it home or order it for me at a delivery location, but what I’m aiming for is having food delivered to me in exchange for bitcoins where I don’t have to order it or cook it myself -even, a bit like ordering a “breakfast tray” in a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you’re happy!
While the amount of bitcoin paid for these two simple pizzas may seem mind-boggling today, times were different back then.
“So nobody wants to buy me pizza?” Is the bitcoin amount I’m offering too low? Hanyecz posted three days later, as no Bitcoin users had yet accepted his offer.
Indeed, many found the offer a bit odd. One forum user pointed out that Hanyecz could sell the 10,000 BTC for around $41 at the time instead of trading it for just food – which he could just order directly and pay with dollars like any other fan of food. pizza probably would. Another user asked, “Are you hungry or just like pizza?”
“I just think it would be interesting if I could say I paid for pizza in bitcoins,” Hanyecz replied.
The offer was eventually taken up by Jeremy “Jercos” Sturdivant, and Hanyecz’s strange move would years later become ammunition for a whole host of Bitcoin users to fuel the HODL narrative – the idea of never selling his bitcoin. Clearly, in hindsight, spending what today would be $300 million on two pizzas might seem like a fool. However, not only was it unclear that bitcoin would be as popular as it is today, but what Hanyecz pioneered fulfilled Satoshi Nakamoto’s primary goal with his invention.
Bitcoin: money outside government control
“Bitcoin: a peer-to-peer electronic payment system” – this is how Nakamoto titled his research paper describing the design of Bitcoin – the fruit of decades of research.
Using cryptography, proof of work (PoW), blockchain and a network of interconnected computers, the inventor was able to transfer peer-to-peer (P2P) money – cash – into the digital realm, a feat that was impossible until now.
While many like to jump in and promote the HODL ethic today, not only was Bitcoin created as money, it was designed as one that allowed its holders to spend without asking permission. In other words, Nakamoto created money without permission in the digital economy.
Whereas in a traditional, physical cash transaction, only those who send and receive the money needed to be involved, digital transactions historically involved intermediaries. Think of a credit card transaction or bank transfer; in either case, there are a myriad of entities involved to ensure that the sender’s balance is verified, the money is transferred, and the recipient’s balance is updated. With Bitcoin, all of this could now be done like cash – truly P2P.
Reducing centralized authorities between payments not only allows for greater transaction privacy (think back to physical cash transactions versus a credit card swipe), but also allows for greater freedom in the transmission of money. While in stable countries like the United States, seeing transactions censored is more of a marginal case, a considerable part of the world’s population lives under more authoritarian regimes and does not share the same luck. As a result, the simplest of transactions risks being refused – and may even lead to personal damages for the parties to the transaction.
While bitcoin savings can lead to massive long-term wealth growth through the HODLer mentality of its coins, it is arguably through technology empowerment of oppressed communities that its true proposal for value shines – something privileged Western societies can often overlook.
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