Happy Bitcoin Pizza Day! With a 2018 Twist
The world’s hippest bitcoin community (Tokyo) kicked off 2018’s Bitcoin Pizza Day tonight in the usual style: lots and lots of pizza. But in a twist that reflects the changing mood in this part of the world, most chose to pay for their pies with bitcoin cash (BCH).
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What’s Bitcoin Pizza Day?
If you’ve been around bitcoin for a while, you might know May 22nd is the day the community celebrates “Pizza Day”. Why? Well, back in 2010, when bitcoin had virtually zero official value in dollars, Laszlo Hanyecz posted online that he’d send 10,000 BTC to anyone who’d order him two pizzas. Someone took the offer (and the bitcoins) and sent Hanyecz two pizzas from Papa John’s.
Like every other media outlet, we’re obligated to point out that purchase is worth about $82.3 million USD at current prices. However, as one of the first ever (if not the first) uses of bitcoin to pay for real-world products, it’s today regarded as the event that kick-started bitcoin as money, and proved it had value at all.
What would’ve become of bitcoin, had that pizza order not happened? Who knows, but thank goodness it was a pizza order, because it gave the community a convenient and tasty way to celebrate every year.
Hanyecz himself repeated that initial stunt in February 2018, by ordering pizza in a similar manner, this time using a Lightning Network transaction. That order also produced pizza, though this time required the extra step of funding a Lightning channel with BTC before paying.
But… That’s Bitcoin Cash
Curiously, the only Pizza Day event in Tokyo was organized by the Bitcoin Cash Meetup group. Paying in BCH wasn’t obligatory, but owner of the host venue Mike Verweyst was offering a 50 percent discount for BCH purchases. Most took him up on the offer.
Verweyst said despite growing demand, there still isn’t a proper payment processor for BCH. His venue took over 50 bitcoin cash transactions tonight, all paid the old-school way — directly into a mobile wallet on the venue’s smartphone. He pleaded with local processors to solve that problem ASAP:
— Akane Yokoo (@YokooAkane) May 22, 2018
While the very existence of bitcoin cash remains controversial within the community, it’s a fact that Hanyecz’s purchase still exists on the BCH blockchain — so it has equal claim to that history. Bitcoin cash also enjoys a higher level of support in Japan and China, where there are booming blockchain industries with pockets of support for all cryptocurrencies.
Notable among the crowd were those new in town, who’d moved to Japan specifically to take up blockchain-related jobs. Strict but friendly regulation has seen a proliferation of new startups in the country, leading some to wonder if Tokyo could become the regional, if not the global blockchain business capital.
Is this a worthy celebration of Bitcoin Pizza Day 2018? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
Images via Jon Southurst, Bitsonline