Bitcoin Pizza Day: Celebrating The $300-Million Pizza Order – And Other Fun Facts
What a peculiar combination: bitcoin and pizza. Nonetheless, an entire day has been designated for each of these occasions. All of this is done in recognition of the innovations that crypto has brought to the world.
Since their creation, cryptocurrencies have dominated the global virtual currency landscape, and now everyone is mining this coin or seeking to invest in crypto.
Investors and entrepreneurs are looking for an opportunity to trade in cryptocurrencies ever since the first crypto trade became viral.
Suggested Reading | MicroStrategy Stock Rallies 10% As CEO Saylor Predicts BTC Will ‘Go Into The Millions’
Pizza: First Physical Item Bought Using Bitcoin
Previously, cryptos were not accepted as a form of payment, but after a man from Florida paid for his meal with bitcoins, this topic was all people could talk about.
Bitcoin Pizza Day commemorates the day in 2010 when Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer and BTC miner from Florida, used the crypto to purchase two pizzas from Papa John’s. It occurs every year on May 22. It is the first physical item purchased with the first decentralized digital currency.
This is how the pizzas looked like at the time they were ordered in 2010 (Bitcoin Magazine).
10,000 BTC Paid For The Pizza Is Worth $300 Million Today
Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC for his renowned pizza purchase. This quantity was worth around $41 at the time. The value of the crypto has grown rapidly over time. Currently, 10,000 BTC are valued close to $300 million.
Obviously, the value of these same bitcoins increased significantly during the subsequent decade. In fact, if Hanyecz had supposedly sold his whole hoard at bitcoin’s all-time high of $68,990, he would have earned around $690 million — enough to purchase 46 million large Papa John’s pizzas for $15 each.
Hanyecz told Anderson Cooper in a 2019 interview with CBS that the purchase “made [bitcoin] real for certain people. Indeed, it did for me.”
Pizza Order Hogged The Headlines
Because of the price of bitcoin, Hanyecz’s story became global in the United States, with The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, Slate, and TechCrunch joining TechCrunch and Slate in popularizing the transaction.
On the same anniversary of the first Bitcoin pizza order, festivities continue for what has become a staple of crypto culture.
BTC total market cap at $557 billion on the weekend chart | Source: TradingView.com
It’s A Celebration!
PizzaDAO, the decentralized blockchain project that aims to link pizza lovers around the world with the technological possibilities of Web3, is celebrating Bitcoin Pizza Day on Sunday in traditional fashion.
The group will conduct commemorative events at 100 pizza outlets in more than 75 nations, including Argentina, Australia, Canada, Britain, South Korea and the United States, to name a few.
Bitcoin Pizza Day will also be celebrated by Huobi Global, one of the world’s biggest digital asset exchanges, with a special Primebox deal.
From May 19 through May 29, users can participate in the special occasion’s Primebox promotion for a chance to win a portion of the 50 BTC prize pool and other NFT awards.
The Numbers Are Growing
Meanwhile, more than 15,000 establishments worldwide already accept cryptocurrency as payment.
Movies, clothing, basketball tickets, airline packages, hotel bookings, and video games are among the items that can be purchased using cryptocurrency.
Suggested Reading | UnicornDAO Rallies For Women And LGBTQ Artists; Raises $4.5 Million
Featured image from Reddit, chart from TradingView.com
Celebrating Bitcoin Pizza Day With Knoxville Bitcoin Network
Knoxville Bitcoin Network will be hosting a Bitcoin Pizza Day Meetup on March 22, 2022. This idea was brought up in our group chat and the event will serve as a way to pay homage to the legend of Bitcoin Pizza Day.
For those unfamiliar with Bitcoin Pizza Day, this is the day the first Bitcoin transaction was made in exchange for another real world item: pizza. On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz paid someone 10,000 bitcoin to order him two large Papa John’s pizzas. Yes, you read that right, 10,000 bitcoin.
As fellow Bitcoiners, we are also hoping to use this Sunday as a way to not only gather local Bitcoiners to join us in eating delicious pizza (which will be paid for in bitcoin), but to also orange-pill the staff of a locally owned and operated pizza place in Knoxville, Tennessee. Continuing bitcoin adoption is paramount, even if it’s one small pizza-shop owner at a time.
More than a decade has passed since the original Bitcoin Pizza Day, and for some people it is inconceivable to even spend 1 satoshi (the smallest unit of bitcoin) on anything for fear of the value of the satoshi being much higher in the future. (Those two pizzas from 2010 are now worth $302.6 million at the time of writing.) However, we believe that purchasing pizza with bitcoin by Hanyecz is a vitally important part in the history of Bitcoin for several reasons: This purchase manifested the idea that we could have a monetary network in which goods and services can be purchased with bitcoin, while also opening up an entire new set of ideas and possibilities for what Bitcoin could achieve if enough people began to adopt it. With such a bleeding-edge use of an already nascent technology, Hanyecz — although missing out on over $300 million in today’s funny money — was crucial in allowing further progression of bitcoin as a monetary asset with a real world, measurable value. For this, we thank you.
If you zoom out, you, too, will begin to realize that even spending bitcoin worth $30,000 on pizza isn’t worth it in 10 years, unless you replenish your satoshis after consumption. Twelve years ago, two pizzas cost 10,000 bitcoin; today, a large pizza worth $20 only costs you roughly 0.0006 bitcoin, or 60,000 satoshis. Quite a stark difference from 12 years ago! The question then becomes, what does a pizza cost 12 years from today when priced in bitcoin? However, it is important to spend your bitcoin, just as you would use a fiat currency, and with Lightning this is now more of a reality than ever before. As a Bitcoiner, it is a responsibility to support anyone who is willing to accept bitcoin, and yes, this means spending it. The more user touch points a non-Bitcoiner has with a slick user interface, user experience and instant settlement, the more this “Bitcoin thing” begins to make sense to them. The value add is real, and the atmosphere has a palpable feel of excitement — this is the magic of Bitcoin adoption in real time. Hanyecz took a proverbial bullet for all of us, but in doing so, allowed the maturation of the hardest money on Earth to continue. This Sunday, we pay our respects!
This is a guest post by Shane Kotz. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
7 Surprising Facts About Bitcoin Pizza Day
May 22 is now forever known as Bitcoin Pizza Day, the holiday marking the date in 2010 when the first real-world good was bought with the first decentralized digital money.
Yet like every holiday, be it Thanksgiving or Valentine’s Day, Bitcoin Pizza Day might say more about those celebrating it today than any of the actual historical facts. Indeed, there remain those who view the holiday as passé or even against the values of the Bitcoin community.
What remains true is that by May 2010, Bitcoin had a small, but growing economy, one where bitcoin were still mostly traded peer-to-peer and on some small exchanges.
Eager to push the frontier of Bitcoin commerce further, Laszlo Hanyecz, an early developer and miner, put out the call that he was willing and ready to pay 10,000 BTC for two pizzas, should someone be willing to take him up on the trade.
Bitcoin user Jeremy “Jercos” Sturdivant would agree to the terms, and two Papa John’s pies would arrive at Hanyecz’s house shortly thereafter. History was made — but some supporting facts have been lost to time.
In honor of the 11th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day, we’ve compiled a list of lesser-known facts about what’s perhaps the most famous of Bitcoin holidays.
At this year’s bitcoin price high of $63,000, the two pizzas were worth $630 million.
1) 10,000 BTC Was Worth Just $41 At The Time Of Purchase
Though data on the early Bitcoin economy is getting hard to come by, according to Bitcoin user ender_X, Hanyecz could have traded his bitcoin on an exchange for U.S. dollars … about $41 to be exact. Should the figures be accurate, that puts the price per bitcoin at roughly $0.004 — or four-thousandths of a penny — at the time of sale.
While that figure isn’t exactly zero, the price was low enough for ender_X to think Hanyecz might be getting the better of the deal, his post ending with the quip — “good luck on getting your free pizza.”
2) Hanyecz Had To Wait Four Days To Get His Pies
Sure, it’s not as impressive as Satoshi waiting nearly 11 months for bitcoin to establish a price, but by conventional food delivery standards, Hanyecz waited a while for his order.
In fact, Hanyecz first posted on the Bitcoin.org forums on Tuesday, May 18, at the time writing:
“I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas.. like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later … If you’re interested please let me know and we can work out a deal.”
Even so, he didn’t end up getting his pizza until Saturday. By Friday, some were even led to reach out about Hanyecz’s health, with user BitcoinFX asking if he was “getting hungry.”
“I just think it would be interesting if I could say that I paid for a pizza in bitcoins,” Hanyecz replied.
Jercos would help him complete the delivery the next day, the transaction taking place at around 2:16 p.m. EST, according to records supported by Bitcoin Talk.
3) Hanyecz Bought More Than Two Pizzas For Bitcoin
Hanyecz didn’t just stop with two pizzas, however. Enticed by the response, Hanyecz sought to push the limit in June, adding to his post that the deal was “an open offer.”
“I will trade 10,000 BTC for 2 of these pizzas any time as long as I have the funds (I usually have plenty),” he wrote on June 12. “If anyone is interested please let me know.”
Rumor has it that there were other pizza-order exchanges, and there’s some evidence to hint this might be the case, with Hanyecz bringing his open offer to a close in August.
“Well I didn’t expect this to be so popular but I can’t really afford to keep doing it since I can’t generate thousands of coins a day anymore,” he wrote. “Thanks to everyone who bought me pizza already but I’m kind of holding off on doing any more of these for now.”
That’s not to say he put his pizza-buying past behind him fully. In 2018, Laszlo became the first person to buy a pizza over the Lightning Network, though he paid just 0.00649 BTC at the time.
4) Jercos Eventually Sold His Bitcoin
As the Bitcoin Pizza Day holiday grew, it wasn’t long before Jeremy “Jercos” Sturdivant would be thrust back into the limelight. He’d give his only interview to a website called “Bitcoin Who’s Who” in 2015, five years after the trade.
To the likely dismay of current HODLers, Sturdivant said at the time “a currency is meant to be spent,” noting that the 10,000 BTC he received “made it back into the economy quickly” by the time they were worth about $400 in total.
“Naturally there will always be people hoarding coins, trying to get rich, and quite a few people did get quite rich, but they wouldn’t have got that way without economic growth allowing it,” he said, noting he felt Bitcoin was meant to be more akin to a PayPal or Stripe.
Sturdivant added some other notable details about the transaction, which he says was finalized over IRC while noting he was just 19 years old at the time of the trade.
5) Bitcoin Pizza Day Wasn’t Widely Celebrated At First
While Bitcoin Pizza Day is widely known today, records about any celebrations are scarce before 2014. That isn’t exactly surprising, as before 2013 awareness of Bitcoin was low.
It appears that Hanyecz’s story was popularized in part by a New York Times article and subsequently boosted in 2014 by a blog and tweet from the @Bitcoin twitter handle.
Due to the price of bitcoin, then testing $1,000, the story went national in the U.S., with major media outlets like ABC News joining TechCrunch, Slate and The Wall Street Journal in popularizing the transaction.
Still, as on display in the WSJ post, there was a certain slant taken, with the holiday popularized as a way to scold “bitcoin hoarders” who wanted to use the technology as a store of value as opposed to a payment method, a tension among users that continues to this day,
6) Bitcoin Pizza Day Wasn’t The First “Bitcoin Holiday”
That’s right, Bitcoiners have been creating holidays for almost as long as the technology has been around, the first commemorative date set in 2011.
At the time, Bitcoin users were keen to mark the disappearance of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, who had recently stepped down from his role as project lead, declaring April 28, 2011, “Satoshi Disappear Day.”
“I propose we make a bitcoin holiday in honor of our legendary anonymous founder and to observe the fact that the bitcoin community will be just fine after the inventor of bitcoin left,” wrote user Kiba at the time.
Though Bitcoin Pizza Day occurred a bit earlier, it took some time for it to become a holiday, most likely because the price had yet to really rise. It’s worth noting also that Bitcoin Pizza Day in some ways seems to coincide with the “Bitcoin for payments” narrative pushed by industry businesses from 2014 through 2016.
7) You Can Still See The Pictures Of The Real Bitcoin Pizzas
Wondering what multimillion-dollar pizzas actually looked like? Wonder no more.
Thanks to Hanyecz’s penchant for photography, we have well-kept records of just what these expensive pies looked like at the time they were eaten in 2010.
Hanyecz posted a total of five pictures of his food, which appear to have a variety of less than traditional toppings, including olives, jalapeños, whole tomatoes and more.
Bitbuy Is Serving The Hottest Deal For Bitcoin Pizza Day – Get a FREE $100 when you sign up & fund your account. T&Cs apply
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A little background about BitBuy—
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Bitbuy snagged the most trusted exchange title from their commitment to compliance. The Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) regulates the exchange. Bitbuy is also a member of The Canadian Securities Administrators. Bitbuy is also known for the security of its exchange. Specifically, they are noted for storing assets in cold storage wallets offline. Bitbuy’s cold wallet storage feature is one that propelled them to compliant stardom. Having a title of being compliant with regulations is only one perk to using Bitbuy. The exchanges’ users have peace of mind that Bitbuy is insured. Thus, as are the assets stored in the cold storage wallets that Bitbuy uses.
Bitbuy is registered and in compliance with Canada’s laws on the purchases, holding, trading, and sales of cryptocurrency, they are able to ‘cut out’ the middleman that most exchanges have to use. Transaction fees are lesser on Bitbuy compared to other exchanges. This is because of the regulatory framework that other exchanges have to bend around. This means that other exchanges use various means to complete crypto purchases, execute trades or store your assets. Since Bitbuy is 100% compliant they are able to cut these fees out of the equation. This allows them to handle all processes in-house. Thus passing savings along to you!
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What is Bitcoin Pizza Day?
In 2010 there was a Florida college student who loved pizza very much. He wanted to use his BTC supply to purchase his favorite food, pizza. This was actually the first Bitcoin transaction made by a person to purchase a commercial good. BTC was worth about $.0004. The man made a post in a BTC forum stating that he’d pay upwards of 10,000 BTC for a pizza. A few days later someone saw the ad and delivered him a few Papa John’s Pizzas. A few pizzas in exchange for a (now) whopping 40,000 BTC, which was worth about $40 at the time.
And so we have it, every year on this day that the first commercial purchase using BTC was made is celebrated. We have no intent to rub salt in old wounds of the man who spent $11,89,639,600 (calculated with BTC’s price today) on a few pizzas. Bitbuy is spreading the BTC (and pizza) love in the form of free money to celebrate this coveted trade holiday.
For Bitcoin Pizza Day, Bitbuy knows what we really want… Free Money!
If that introduction to Bitbuy and backstory on Bitcoin Pizza Day wasn’t appealing enough, here’s yet another reason to become a huge fan of Bitbuy. Here we have a solid exchange whose credentials are enough for anyone to want to use them. Yet, they’re not too proud to serve up well-incentivized deals. And to have a little fun in doing so by celebrating Bitcoin Pizza Day. For new users, a few simple steps, i.e.; Setting up an account and adding $250 will get you an automatic $100 gift from Bitbuy. How much do we love trusted, secure exchanges that throw out the occasional amazing deal!?
As this promo is in celebration of Bitcoin Pizza Day, May, 22, you only have 48 hours to catch this deal. You do not want to miss out on an opportunity for free money on a truly exceptional crypto exchange!
Americans Just Don’t Understand The Importance Of Bitcoin
This is an opinion editorial by Daniel Feldman, the CEO of Green Block Mining.
In 2016, after I sold a gaming company that I founded with a high school friend to a group of former executives from Amaya/PokerStars, I was looking for the next thing to do. In 2017, I discovered bitcoin. I would argue with my brother-in-law and father-in-law about the efficacy of cryptocurrency, but could not effectively support my position. So, to learn more and be able to better defend my pro-crypto stance, I started a blockchain and cryptocurrency meetup in New York City. I moderated discussions with curated speakers and hosted a post-meeting dinner, giving time for further discussion and networking. The meetup became popular. Investment banks, family offices, funds, startups, friends and a variety of interesting people regularly attended for three years until COVID-19 hit.
I began each of my meetups with a play on the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” theme song, “Parents Just Don’t Understand,” by saying, “North Americans just don’t understand.” It was a way to introduce three stories that demonstrated both the global need for decentralized money and why North Americans do not innately understand this. I only gained this perspective by living outside the U.S., through my time living in Moscow as a student and then later as an expat worker.
In 1984, a teacher said that he could teach anyone the Russian past tense in fifteen seconds, which convinced me to begin studying Russian in high school at Buckingham Browne and Nichols in Cambridge, MA. In 1990, I spent the first semester of my junior year in college on a study abroad program in Moscow, USSR at the Pushkin Institute for the Study of Foreign Languages. Students from all over the world studied and lived together in the two dormitories, separated by socialist and non-socialist countries. It was a fascinating time during the final months of the USSR. The first McDonald’s and a Pizza Hut had opened.
The official ruble/dollar exchange rate was $2 for one ruble, but on the black market you could get 64 times that, 32 rubles for one dollar. You had to make at least one exchange at the official rate to get a bank receipt to show that you had at least some rubles via a Soviet bank, but afterward you could trade on the black market. All of the foreign students at my institute traded their hard currency into rubles. This was made easy because Mustafa, a much older student from Uganda who lived on the 11th floor of our dormitory, was a money trader. We would go to his room with our hard currency, in my case U.S. dollars, and he would light some incense, offer us a shot of Russian cognac and then pull out a suitcase full of neatly stacked Russian rubles from under his bed. He offered the best rate in the city. I have no idea where he got so many rubles or who he was trading the money for. Was it the Russian government? The school? The Ugandan government? I will never know, but it made for easy and safe access to rubles. We knew that there were a lot of scams involving old, outdated ruble notes or people who just took your money and ran away if you tried trading on the streets of Moscow.
One day, our resident assistant said that the U.S. ambassador had called to tell us that all 50-ruble bills would be taken out of circulation at the end of the week. This was not public knowledge. Each Soviet could take six bills to the bank, have their domestic passports stamped, and be given new 50-ruble bills. As the Soviet Union was a mattress economy, this government act was going to devastate the savings of much of the population. No one wanted the government to know how much they had in savings and no one trusted the state-run banks to hold their money. With this advance notice from the ambassador, we took our 50-ruble notes and bought Soviet champagne and cognac from a group of Nigerian students who sold alcohol in the dormitory, and threw a big party for all of the students studying at our institute.
Of course, when it became public knowledge that the 50-ruble notes were being canceled, the Nigerians were outraged as they immediately knew that the privileged Americans must have had advanced notice as we paid them in 50-ruble notes only. I was only able to calm them down when I gave them a Bell Biv DeVoe cassette as a peace offering.
In 2002, eleven years later, I was now a lawyer. I moved back to Moscow, Russia, no longer the Soviet Union. I worked for Yukos Oil at a new office building near the Paveletsky train station. My office was on the top floor with great views of Moscow and the nearby train station. Occasionally, while walking to work from the nearby metro station or looking down at the commercial area surrounding the train station, I would see long lines outside a bank. People would wait for hours in these lines. Russians are famously good at waiting in lines, but that reputation was mostly earned during the Soviet era when deficits of food and necessary goods were more common, so these lines seemed out of place. I asked a Russian colleague why there were lines and she matter-of-factly replied, “That bank is going out of business and customers are being offered 60 cents on the dollar to get their money out.”
A few weeks later the bank would re-open and another bank would announce it was closing and another line would form. Watching from above, it was like a game of nefarious musical chairs. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, a middle class slowly developed and an increasing percentage of the population had to use privately run banks to hold their money. They had no choice as their savings were too large to keep under their mattress, and they could not afford the 24-hour security for their apartment that they would otherwise need. So they had to trust untrustworthy banks and understood that losing some of their money was part of the cost of protecting their savings. This is somewhat analogous to a negative interest rate.
I worked directly for an oligarch who was the richest Russian. I was also friendly with other expats who worked for wealthy Russians, ranging from billionaire oligarchs to mini-garchs worth only in the hundreds of millions of dollars. They had great stories. One was once called into his boss’ office where he was greeted gruffly with the question, “Who is this Mr. Dow Jones and how can I meet him?” Another friend worked for a mini-garch who was told he had five days to leave the country. His businesses were going to be taken from him without remuneration, but he was not going to be arrested and would be allowed to leave Russia to live in exile. He was given less than a week to pack up and go. There was no appeal process; that was that.
However, there was a problem. Like many wealthy Russians, he had full-time armed bodyguards and kept U.S. dollars in his apartment for large transactions like buying a car or property, or to pay bribes to stay in business. The mini-garch had $7 million in cash and no way to get it out of the apartment, let alone the country, by the end of the week. Three police cars sat guard 24 hours a day in front of his building, a guard was at the door of the apartment and at least one followed him wherever he went.
My friend arranged for two western Europeans to fly to Moscow the next day. They met at the mini-garch’s apartment. The two men arrived in slim-fitting black suits with white shirts, monochromatic black ties and awesome shoes.1 Each brought a thin black leather briefcase. No change of clothes. No extra luggage. They did not book hotel rooms. They ate their meals in the apartment. They spent 44 hours in the apartment and then were driven directly back to Sheremetyevo airport, one of the two commercial international airports in Moscow. Nothing was left behind and nothing was taken. Soon after, the mini-garch, accompanied by my friend and body guards, left the building. The mini-garch tapped one of the police car windows with a toothbrush and said, “Gotov, poyekhali,” which means, “I’m ready, let’s go.” He got into his Mercedes G-wagon, without any luggage, and was driven to Domodedovo airport, the other commercial international airport and left Russia. Two of the police cars escorted him to the airport. The third car stayed and the officers got out of their car and walked into the apartment building and I assume they went right to the mini-garch’s apartment. That much money has a distinct smell, it smells like vomit from being handled so many times. I am sure they could smell the money that had been in the apartment. They likely searched for it, but I know that they did not find it. It was not in the walls. It was not in the furniture. It was not below the floorboards. It was not on the roof and it had not been thrown out of a window. It was gone.
As a reminder, I tell these three stories to demonstrate why “North Americans just don’t understand.” The first story is an example of life in a country where the government-controlled currency cannot be trusted. We have no concept of that here in North America with our access to the almighty dollar that serves as the world’s reserve currency, but try to imagine how unsettling it would be without that stability.
The second story serves as an example of living in a society where banks cannot be trusted and where FDIC insurance does not exist. Saving money is disincentivized because you cannot safely store it. Not having a safe store of value means that retaining liquidity has a massive effect on both daily life and long-term planning. The government has the ability to control its population if the people do not have a backstop of savings. Bitcoin creates a trustless ability to save and move money.
The last story emphasizes the difficulty of not being able to store value, while also limiting the ability to flee quickly with your assets. These issues are taken for granted by North Americans, but are common concerns in many other countries. Gold can be used to solve some of these problems, but not all. It is cumbersome to move, buy and sell, and it is not easily divisible.
Bitcoin solves all of these problems. You can store your wealth easily without reliance on a third party. You can move easily around the world with it, without having to transport something tangible. You can divide it without damaging the remaining amount and you can spend it or convert it into fiat currency with the push of a button. All without having to physically carry it anywhere. There is no trying to carry a sack of gold onto a plane, no hiding it in a false-bottom suitcase, no burying it in the backyard, no going to a gold dealer to try to sell it.
I hope you enjoyed these stories. What happened to the $7 million? The solution came by way of ingenious out-of-the-box thinking, which has helped guide my approach to problem solving. No one I have told this story to has guessed the answer. If you have a guess, please reach out to me because I would love to finish the story for you.
1 I mention awesome shoes, as the customs officials, usually older women, at Moscow airports, are trained to look at arriving passengers’ shoes to see if they match those wearing an expensive watch. If the shoes are subpar, the officials assume that the person has been paid to bring the watch to Moscow without paying the tax on new goods. The box and paperwork would be carried by someone else.
This is a guest post by Daniel Feldman. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
This Buenos Aires Evangelist Offers Tours to Expound Bitcoin, Tourists Love It
It was 10 a.m. on a sunny Thursday in Buenos Aires’ government district, and Jerónimo Ferrer was about to make his Bitcoin pitch to an audience of two French tourists.
“This is the story of how Argentina took my savings not once, but twice,” he began.
Ferrer, a 48-year-old bitcoin evangelist who works full-time as Argentina’s head of business development at Paxful, a peer-to-peer crypto exchange, has been giving the same tour about Bitcoin and Argentina’s history since 2019 in his free time. Tourists and locals pay $35 for the approximately two-hour visit around Buenos Aires’ center.
During the tour, entitled Our Local Crazy Economy & Bitcoin, Ferrer explains how the chaotic Argentinian economy works and the reason crypto is booming in the country.
Read more: Argentina Was at the Cusp of a Crypto Boom. The Central Bank Had Other Plans
“I started these tours because I needed to spread bitcoin as a tool of freedom in a country that does not have a strong currency, with runaway inflation at an average rate of 70%. That is where this cryptocurrency becomes important in terms of taking care of our own economy,” Ferrer told CoinDesk.
After his opening line in front of the Government House, Ferrer gave a summarized brief of Argentina’s economic history from 1980 to the present, and how its turbulence affected his own economy.
Ferrer recounted two crises in detail. The first one took place in 2001, when after 10 years of being pegged to the U.S. dollar, the Argentine peso collapsed and banks closed, preventing people from withdrawing their money – a phenomenon known locally as corralito.
Less than a decade later, in 2008, the government closed the private pension savings system — known as AFJP for its Spanish acronyms — and confiscated the savings of 9.5 million people, he said.
A victim of both events, Ferrer started looking for other ways of saving and found bitcoin when, during one of his previous jobs, an Italian client asked him to pay in that cryptocurrency.
“I fell in love with it,” he said.
Ferrer started touring in February 2019 out of pure passion, with the clear goal of “bitcoinizing every corner of Argentina,” as he says on his Twitter profile. With the same objective, he also organizes a monthly event, Bitcoin Night, where he persuades a restaurant to accept payment in bitcoin, in exchange for bringing a lot of bitcoiners to dinner.
Since then, he has conducted 150 tours through Airbnb, with an average of four attendees per occasion. On the booking platform, the proposal has a rating of 4.9 (out of 5) stars, and almost all attendees thank Ferrer for the visit.
“Jerónimo was able to teach me a little bit about the history, benefits and advantages of cryptocurrency. He stepped me through the process of buying and selling. I am now the proud owner of an infinitesimal portion of a coin,” David, a tourist who was part of one of the visits in February 2022, posted on Airbnb.
The tour continued with a walk to Argentina’s Central Bank Museum, closed due to the pandemic that day. Although unable to take the group inside, Ferrer described the museum as the place where “Argentina most proudly showed its greatest economic failures.”
The group then moved to Rossi, a small but cozy coffee place two blocks away. Inside, attendees listened to the whole bitcoin story over coffee, starting with Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper, through the Bitcoin Pizza Day, and on to bitcoin’s market-high price in November 2021 and, finally, today’s bear market price, which has fallen a long way off that peak.
“If you hold your keys, bitcoin cannot be confiscated – it has no borders. I can send $1 million to a Chinese bitcoin address and nobody will stop it, as it is censorship-resistant. It works,” Ferrer said, before explaining basic crypto concepts such as mining or holding.
Later, Ferrer urged the group to download a Lightning-powered hot wallet to show how “easy and anonymous” it is to transfer bitcoin on the layer 2 payments protocol, distributing 1,000 satoshis among the participants, who obeyed his command after a few moments of confusion and glances of suspicion.
After numerous inflation and devaluation processes in the past 70 years, Argentines took refuge in the U.S. dollar to protect their income. But the price of dollars now fluctuates wildly depending on the exchange, a source of frustration for locals.
Read more: Why Argentines Are Turning From Dollars to Stablecoins Like DAI
Now, the country has a year-on-year inflation rate of more than 60% while, since 2019, it has been experiencing an escalating devaluation that drove the price of the peso from $0.018 in August of that year to its current price of $0.0081 in the official exchange rate.
To reduce the drain of dollars from its reserves, in 2019, the government installed a barrier — known as a cepo in Spanish — that prevents locals from acquiring more than $200 per month through banks.
As he walked and talked, Ferrer began to explain how the impossibility of accessing dollars created illegal exchange offices known as “caves” and usually hidden behind traditional businesses such as jewelry stores, where dollars are sold at a price up to 100% more expensive than the official quotation.
The French tourists, who knew little about the Argentinian economy and less about cryptocurrency, listened very carefully and asked how the different U.S. dollar exchange rates work in Argentina. Astonished, he asked for a second time the inflation rate in the country.
The group stopped at a shop with the sign “Jewelry and Watch Atelier” on the front. When an electrical door opened, there was a waiting aisle with nothing but a photograph on a shelf, showing Ferrer, the shop employees and the Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin smiling at the camera.
When Buterin visited Argentina in December 2021, he assisted with Ferrer’s tour. “I didn’t know what to do, it was pleasantly shocking,” Ferrer recalled, adding that Buterin changed some ether for ARS 93,000 — approximately $450, according to the informal exchange rate of that day — to use during his time in Argentina.
Another secured door opened and the truth behind the “jewelry store” was revealed: There was an office with an enormous desk displaying banknotes from different countries, and a man behind it asking how much the group wanted to change. Captivated, the French tourists decided to change 20 euros into Argentine pesos.
After leaving the exchange house, Ferrer guided the group to a bitcoin ATM located in a second basement of a shopping center’s garage, but unfortunately it didn’t work either.
“When I receive tourists, there are some who do not know that by spending their money through traditional means, they spend twice as much, so bitcoin helps them bring their money and make it worth its real value,” Ferrer said, without conceding that the number of places to spend bitcoin in Buenos Aires is limited.
7 WEIRDEST Things to Buy With Bitcoin
On May 22th, 2010, a Floridian programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz was craving pizza. So, he bought two. But the catch here is, that he paid in Bitcoin. 10,000 BTC for two pizzas which was the first-ever recorded real-world transaction using crypto.
Someone’s worst trade became someone’s best trade. Our curiosity bug found some interesting & some really weird purchases we can make with Bitcoin at present. Would you throw your Bitcoin at something on our list? Do let us know in the comments section which things would you like to buy with bitcoin. Only after you check out item no #7 as it might be something from your dream list.
Buying Things with Bitcoin
Many people don’t know that you can use bitcoin to buy lots of different things. That’s because most people consider bitcoin a savings vehicle. We buy Bitcoin for:
- Long term savings
- Fighting inflation
- Fighting currency devaluation
- It might become money or a reserve currency someday
- Protection from other things that can hurt our savings.
But the truth is, there are many goods and services that you can use bitcoin to buy right now. And the purpose of this article is to go through some of the most interesting examples we’ve found this week. So let’s get into the list.
1) Price Waterhouse Coopers: Accounting & Consulting Services
If you need to use one of the big global accounting firms like PriceWaterhouseCoopers, you can pay with bitcoin for:
- An audit
- Consulting services
- The preparation of corporate or individual taxes.
Bitcoin reaches the Big Four accounting firms, as PricewaterhouseCoopers accepts a virtual-currency payment https://t.co/dMWDuvSyq2 via @srussolillo
— WSJ Markets (@WSJmarkets) December 1, 2017
This was a surprise in our research. We were very surprised to see that a global firm like PriceWaterhouseCoopers was willing to accept bitcoin. But for a little over a year they’ve accepted bitcoin as a viable payment option for their services. So we think this is pretty cool and we expect other firms will follow.
The more global the firm, the more sensible it is to accept Bitcoin for payments. It’s faster, cheaper, and has lower maintenance than the SWIFT system of international wire transfers between banks.
2) Tesla Cars
Probably the most famous item you can buy with bitcoin on this list are electric vehicles from Tesla. Tesla has accepted bitcoin as payment since 2021 and they hold Bitcoin on their books.
Their well-known CEO, Elon Musk, has famously said that they have not sold any and kept all that bitcoin on their books. Musk is a very popular figure on crypto Twitter, so we know that for most of you this is not a big surprise to find out that you can buy a Tesla with Bitcoin. By the way, they accept DOGE too.
Tesla & Elon Musk: Tesla will accept Bitcoin & Ethereum! Big Crypto News! #crypto #cryptocurrency #cryptonewstoday 2022 https://t.co/2BFYWgY23T
— Breaking News, Life Style, Magazine Videos (@news_topia) June 4, 2022
But still, the idea that you can buy a car, especially a cool-looking car, like a Tesla, with Bitcoin is a nice option. It’s something good for us to know.
3) Dallas Mavericks NBA Tickets
Another famous figure on crypto Twitter is Mark Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. Since way back in 2019, the Dallas Mavericks have accepted Bitcoin as well as DOGE as payment for season tickets or suites for Dallas Mavericks games.
So it’s pretty cool to be able to use your bitcoin for something strictly for entertainment purposes like this. And, they are not the only sports team where you can buy tickets with Bitcoin. Major League Baseball’s Oakland A’s also accept bitcoin as payment if you want to rent out a suite in their home at Oakland Alameda County Stadium.
The NBA’s Dallas Mavericks are the second team to accept Bitcoin as payment for tickets and merchandise. Mav’s owner Mark Cuban is a bitcoin enthusiast and they now join the Sacramento Kings leading the way for Bitcoin in the NBA! https://t.co/2QQxU3y738 pic.twitter.com/EmZfTH5WO2
— Hut 8 Mining (@Hut8Mining) September 19, 2019
But The Mavericks are the biggest and probably the longest-serving sports franchise that accepts bitcoin as payment for tickets. And they are committed to crypto for the foreseeable future thanks to this partnership w Voyager.
This is going to be a surprise to many of you. Especially since Peter Schiff, who is probably Twitter’s biggest gold bug, is one of bitcoin’s biggest critics. And to be fair, Schiff is excellent to follow for macro-economic trends. He just thinks gold is the answer instead of Bitcoin.
This makes many of us think that bitcoin and gold are enemies. They are not enemies and they are friends. But Bitcoin takes a lot of the properties that people like about gold and makes it better. For example, Bitcoin is:
- Easily transferable electronically.
Reducing tariffs won’t lower #inflation. While lower tariffs will initially lower the price consumers pay for items subject to tariff, the government will make up the lost revenue by running larger deficits, which the #Fed will monetize. This ultimately leads to higher inflation!
— Peter Schiff (@PeterSchiff) June 1, 2022
But, for those of you who also see gold as a hedge against inflation or a good investment to hold on to for the future, we understand. And JM Bullion is one place, where you can use your bitcoin to buy gold directly. You know, another reason why people like gold, like bitcoin, is it’s more private than cash.
So the fact that you can use your bitcoin to buy gold and maintain a higher level of financial privacy is something that makes lots of sense. So gold is another thing that we can use our bitcoin to buy.
Now we will stay on the theme of privacy, in this case not financial privacy but online privacy. VPNs or Virtual Private Networks are a good way to try to stay more private online. And two of the most popular ExpressVPN and NordVPN, both accept Bitcoin as payment.
And the great thing is, you don’t have to identify yourself and your data to the VPN provider; again helping you maintain more privacy with your account. So, get a VPN to stay more private. And if you use Bitcoin to pay for it, then it’s even more difficult to track the VPN service back to you. Here is an example:
You can buy @surfshark VPN also with @DigiByteCoin or using #bitcoin on #LightningNetwork
Waiting for #monero payment #vpn #digibyte #surfshark #btc #LightningNetwork #XMR pic.twitter.com/IpsHAQC76p
— TA₿O (@Bosstrecentodue) November 10, 2019
We see it as a good, practical way to use Bitcoin to pay for a valuable service; in this case a virtual private network. We know you are looking for more ways to do more things privately and this is one way you can do that.
6) College Tuition
Many people are unaware that some universities accept Bitcoin for tuition. It’s not a big number, probably less than 30 or 40 around the world. But some universities accept bitcoin as payment for college tuition. Two of the most prominent are:
- Kings College in New York City over in Brooklyn
- and the University of Nicosia, which is a big technological and crypto-based university on the island of Cyprus.
Here’s Where You Can Pay College Tuition With Bitcoin via @La__Cuen #blockchain #cryptocurrency https://t.co/hdmt5yiiFC
— Christa Scherck (@christascherck) July 24, 2017
Both of these accept bitcoin as payment for tuition to go to school there. King’s was the first in the US way back in 2014. Very forward-thinking. Nicosia in 2019. So we found this pretty cool in our research, that we could better ourselves through education. And use bitcoin to pay for the tuition is one way that we can do that.
We expect this trend to grow in the future. More and more universities have to offer creative packages to students to get them to attend. Things like offering discounts, or other features to drive the best kids to their universities.
7) An Island
Many of you know that Bitcoin specifically and crypto, in general, are becoming a more popular way to buy property in certain parts of the world. In the same way that, in some places, prices for properties are in dollars. Even if their economies are not in dollars, many more places are starting to become friendly to accepting crypto payments for the property.
You can buy your island for Bitcoin. One of the best websites to find this kind of property is propy.com and some of the available islands are less expensive than you might think. We found many on a private island site available for under $1 million dollars. And some will gladly take Bitcoin as payment. But not only that, Propy has announced that they are selling properties as NFTs.
It’s a wrap!
The Tampa condo NFT is sold for 215 000 USDC and will live on-chain now.
This unique NFT collectible and the world’s 3rd Real Property NFT has a new trend-setting owner.
More than 1000 people on the waitlist, 66 got KYCed and 1 satisfied buyer! pic.twitter.com/zTlV9yZAdT
— Propy (@PropyInc) April 13, 2022
Also, some of you have probably heard of the Satoshi Island project, where a group of people is trying to buy an island together and make it crypto-friendly. But that’s not what we are talking about here. We are talking about an island that you as a single buyer can own in its entirety. And there are islands in many desirable places, including in the United States, in Central and South America, and out in the Atlantic or Mediterranean Seas.
So there are lots of places where you could buy an island and pay with cryptocurrency to buy it. We love this idea, and we expect that this will only grow. The growth of the NFT market will ensure that real estate sales online grow. And real estate investment or fractionalized real estate will grow as a market for crypto payments as well.
So there you have it, we have seven interesting things that you can do with your Bitcoin, quality products, and services that you can buy. On the privacy front, you can use Bitcoin to buy gold or buy the VPN of your choice. In the products and services area you can use your Bitcoin to buy:
- Auditing or consulting services from one of the world’s biggest accounting firms
- Tesla car
- Dallas Mavericks tickets. You know, when you want to go to an NBA game.
And if you want to improve yourself, King’s College and the University of Nicosia are two of the groups of universities that accept Bitcoin as payment for tuition. And lastly, if you just want to get away from everyone and everything, you can use Bitcoin to buy your island.
So no matter what types of goods or services you are looking for, there is likely someone who sells those services, who will accept bitcoin as payment. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.
Oxford Scientist Gets Into Crypto in 2013 After Receiving $20 in $BTC for Ordering Pizza
South African-born Oxford University fellow Heloise Greeff, who is social trading platform eToro’s first female Elite Pro Popular Investor, says she first got into crypto in 2013 when she received $20 in $BTC for ordering pizza for a friend.
According to a report published in The Sunday Times on May 29, Greeff, who currently lives in Oxford, UK, told them:
“A friend owed me money and he asked to pay me back in bitcoin. I wasn’t a pure convert from the start, but I was happy to take a chance and accept the payment because the engineer in me understood what was going on with the blockchain. I could understand the long-term potential.“
The report went on to say:
“Having stored a small amount on a flash drive, Greeff, who moved to the UK from South Africa to complete a PhD in machine learning, began using bitcoin to split bills with a group of friends who were also overseas students to avoid paying currency conversion fees when they owed each other money. Her decision to keep that original $20 of bitcoin paid off. Today, it is worth more than $3,000.“
During an interview with “This Is Money” in January 2022, Greeff, who joined eToro in 2016, had this to say about crypto:
“Before the pandemic, my portfolio was almost exclusively tech and healthcare. In the last 20 months, it has diversified quite a bit more. The way I use crypto in my portfolio is as a hedge against volatility, it is quite uncorrelated and so the risk-adjusted return can be quite good.
“We have to start talking about this new asset class, because there is a lot of negative experience and media around it because it remains fairly unregulated in a lot of markets. I only use the stable coins, my largest crypto holdings are ethereum and bitcoin. I rarely go over 5 per cent exposure to crypto in the portfolio to [minimise] high volatility, which some of the alt coins can still be prone to.“
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The views and opinions expressed by the author, or any people mentioned in this article, are for informational purposes only, and they do not constitute financial, investment, or other advice. Investing in or trading cryptoassets comes with a risk of financial loss.
Featured Image by “alfcermed” via Pixabay.com
CZ Opens up on Reddit AMA Before Delivering Pizza
Excitement for CZ Amidst Bear Market
The crypto market faced a major crisis as many top investors, projects, and influential figures suffered huge losses from the recent LUNA slump. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ), who lost a huge chunk of LUNA and UST holdings, still participated in recreational activities irrespective of the market crash.
Binance CEO, on May 17, tweeted “Poor Again” alongside a publication from Fortune about the Exchange’s LUNA investment of $1.6 billion which crashed to $3000, including some staked UST. Despite the loss, CZ was present for an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on May 21, hosted on Reddit to discuss a diverse range of cryptocurrency-related topics with numerous users. Additionally, the CEO was pictured delivering Pizza on Bitcoin Pizza day. Binance offered Pizza to five lucky winners to celebrate the event’s 12th anniversary on May 20.
Happy #BitcoinPizzaDay! pic.twitter.com/0OL0VncQIK
— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) May 20, 2022
Numerous users questioned CZ during the AMA on the Reddit r/CryptoCurrency Community. While introducing himself to users, the CEO jokingly mentioned going back to delivering Pizza just like how he started at McDonalds.
“For those of you that don’t know me, I’m CZ, the CEO and Founder of Binance, one of the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and crypto exchanges. I started my career at McDonald’s, and have done a few things between then and now, including working in tech & finance, building businesses, and more. And most recently you might have seen I’ve gone back to my roots, delivering Binance Pizza,” CZ stated.
While the LUNA crash hit CZ, he created time to mingle with users through the Reddit AMA. Additionally, the Pizza delivery is a respite from the bear market. Will CZ and Binance recover from the massive loss? Time will tell. With LUNA 2.0 on the horizon, there is hope for CZ and the affected crypto population.
You can check the AMA HERE to read the conversations between users and CZ, including essential details about LUNA and UST.
CZ Defends LUNA and UST Trading
Many users were concerned about Binance resuming both UST and LUNA trades due to LUNA’s failure. CZ was questioned during the AMA by a user who asked why the Exchange resumed trades for both assets above, knowing that LUNA was a failed project. The CEO backed the move, stating that nobody was forced to buy them just because trading was on.
“In a decentralized world, there are many other exchanges too. If we suspend trading, and prices move on other exchanges, what do you think the holders will say? We suspended trading briefly when the validators paused the blockchain, even that caused a lot of complaints, but I believe our action forced the validators to resume the network within a couple of hours. Lastly, no one is forcing anyone to buy just because trading is on. There are high risk tolerance buyers willing to take over from sellers. The market place is neutral,” CZ disclosed.
In the meantime, LUNA trading is unavailable on Binance Exchange in preparation for LUNA 2.0 on May 27. According to the protocol’s tweet on May 26, the new LUNA 2.0 token would be distributed to eligible users based on Terra’s distribution plan. Read Binance’s announcement HERE for more details.
Bitcoin (BTC) Price Rebounds But Investors Still Not Optimistic
- The recent Terra ecosystem crash, has turned the situation scary.
- Bitcoin has been up 1.94% in the last 24 hours.
At a time when crypto fans across the globe are celebrating “Bitcoin Pizza Day,” investors and traders are alarmed by the current market trend that has a negative influence on Bitcoin and leads to losses. It has been nearly two weeks after the market collapsed on May 9th, and there is a sense of fear and panic among investors over the token’s performance and potential losses.
Bears in Control For Long
For months, the general performance of the stock market has been moving in tandem with that of the crypto area, which may be used to examine these continuing worries. Bitcoin’s losing streak reached a new high this week as most Bitcoins used in transactions fell to their lowest profit margins since 2021 due to the meltdown.
BTC/USDT: Source: TradingView
While the total quantity of Bitcoin (1.92 BTC) on the network was reported to be down by $57.2 billion. As a consequence, the market value of the king coin has fallen to its lowest level since April 2020 as a result of the declining price of Bitcoin.
As a result of these events, the market is in a state of panic and fear, with investors losing optimism that the economy would recover soon. Add the recent Terra ecosystem crash, and the situation turns scary. For the second time this week, the Fear and Greed Index has the market’s lowest position in history. Investors haven’t been this scared since August of 2019. The price has rebounded and is nearing the $30k mark, but investors are not optimistic as BTC has been unable to rally for a long time now.
According to CMC, the Bitcoin price today is $29,986.26 USD with a 24-hour trading volume of $19,593,299,641 USD. BTC has been up 1.94% in the last 24 hours.