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Legends of Bitcoin: Laszlo Hanyecz

You Probably Know Him As The "Pizza Guy"

By PanteraPublished 7 months ago 5 min read

The Bitcoin community has been unfair to Laszlo Hanyecz and is ignorant of his service to Bitcoin.

Everyone has heard of the "Bitcoin Pizza Day" and the "guy” that bought two Papa John’s pizzas with 10,000 BTC more than 10 years ago.

Reporters will usually calculate the millions this much BTC is worth today and mock the “pizza guy” for buying the most expensive pizza in the world.

10,000BTC today cost approximately $200million, and without knowing the details of the story of Bitcoin, especially during the early days, most people will giggle upon learning this.

Does Laszlo deserve to be mocked, or was he a visionary in the field that laid the foundations for the first cryptocurrency to succeed?

Laszlo Hanyecz deserves more recognition for his work on Bitcoin, and the Bitcoin community should attribute him with the importance and merit he deserves.

A Legendary Bitcoin Developer

Laszlo Hanyecz invented GPU mining, but all he got in return was a sh** pizza meme — Bitcoin Magazine (source)

Laszlo Hanyecz (Source)

Many in the crypto field often mention the “pizza guy” and how he mistakenly used his early mined Bitcoins as digital money to buy pizzas and other items.

Sadly, the “HODL” mentality gained acceptance and ground in 2014, and Bitcoin from a P2P electronic cash system, as the whitepaper suggests, became an asset that whales kept accumulating and distributing during periods of extreme parabolic growth.

Most in BTC are just in it for the (fiat) money profit. And, few in the BTC community promote the idea of P2P electronic cash lately.

Most of the early miners, devs, and investors have long abandoned Bitcoin as they never thought of Bitcoin under Blockstream’s governance being able to achieve the adoption targets it had as a digital money.

Presently, BTC is not about the revolutionary ideas that allowed it to gain acceptance and recognition during the early years.

Laszlo’s Contribution

Laszlo Hanyecz contributed to Bitcoin with his code.

He was the first Bitcoin developer to release the Bitcoin code for Mac OS:

Mac OS X universal build for testing

Mac OS X full build instructions and updated binary package

Moreover, he was the first programmer to script GPU mining code for Bitcoin, which he successfully tested and managed to mine with a higher hashrate. He informed Satoshi Nakamoto and the Bitcoin community of his findings, although Satoshi was already ahead of Laszlo, having already knowledge of GPU mining and possibly using it to avert 51% attacks.

Laszlo never regretted spending Bitcoins, unlike what newcomers might think.

Bitcoin was supposed to become money for the world, and he was the first to use it as such before the herd followed. Bitcoin those days had no value with no exchange offering BTC trades to fiat.

Laszlo did use Bitcoin as it was supposed to, and he is a Bitcoin Legend, one that we need to remember for everything he did to help Bitcoin succeed in the early days.

He was the first Bitcoin spender, and more followed. Bitcoin, until 2013, was growing as a digital currency, but later abandoned the payment properties, when Blockstream devs decided no further development on-chain scaling was needed, but secondary networks (layer-2) solutions like LN and Liquid.

In Conclusion

Laszlo’s contribution to the development and promotion of Bitcoin in the early days is not presented in the media as much as the fact of the first-ever purchase made with Bitcoin.

This event is a historic one for Bitcoin. Sadly, the BTC community doesn’t praise Laszlo for his commitment and efforts to promote the use case of Bitcoin so early. The current BTC community has this stance that buying anything with Bitcoin is a huge mistake since the price will eventually rise.

Yet, Bitcoin was not even traded in an exchange when Laszlo purchased the two Pappa John pizzas. He gave a price to Bitcoin.

Laszlo never regretted spending his Bitcoin since this was the ultimate purpose. Bitcoin was created to become a digital currency revolution. A P2P electronic cash network of payments.

The argument that this pizza today costs millions is a misconception since Bitcoin was used just by a couple of dozens of people. Nobody could have predicted that the price of Bitcoin would reach tens of thousands of dollars at least for a couple of years more.

The price of Bitcoin dropped down to zero in exchanges a couple of times in the first years.

At a time when no one knew what exactly Bitcoin was going to be, Laszlo gave Bitcoin the ultimate proof it could be used as money.

This is how we should pay our respects to the legendary Bitcoin developer Laszlo Hanyecz.

Originally Published at Read.Cash

Cover Photo on Unsplash (by Michael Förtsch)


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About the Creator


In Crypto Since March 2017.

Crypto writer since 2021.

Also interested in science, technology, economics.


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