Bitcoin Pizza Guy: Laszlo Hanyecz on Why Bitcoin is Still the Only Flavor of Crypto for Him

You may think that you have never heard of Laszlo Hanyecz, a Florida-based programmer working for online retail company GoRuck, but you’d probably be wrong — Hanyecz was behind the inspirational purchase of two pizzas from Papa John’s for 10,000 Bitcoin (BTC) back on May 22, 2010, making this week a celebration of Pizza Day’s eight year anniversary.

But the transaction did not involve only one person: Jeremy Sturdivant, also known as Jercos, participated in the original Bitcoin pizza deal as the recipient of those 10,000 BTC that he turned into two pizzas.

Ever since the fateful first-ever recorded transaction of Bitcoin for a physical good, the use case for the currency has taken off, with customers now able to use Bitcoin for real estate deals, online shoppingairplane bookings and, of course, pizza.

Cointelegraph got the chance to speak to both Laszlo and Jeremy this week about their views on Bitcoin, how they feel about the legacy of the “Bitcoin Pizza” and their favorite type of pizza.

Cointelegraph: You probably get asked this question a lot, but I have to ask. Since 10,000 Bitcoin is worth around 80 million dollars today, do you ever regret paying 10,000 BTC for two pizzas?

LH: You know, I don’t regret it. I think that it’s great that I got to be part of the early history of Bitcoin in that way, and people know about the pizza and it’s an interesting story because everybody can kind of relate to that and be [like] – “Oh my God, you spent all of that money!” I was also kind of giving people tech support on the forums and I ported Bitcoin to MacOS, and you know, some other things – fix bugs and whatnot, and I’ve always kind of just wanted people to use Bitcoin and buying the pizza was one way to do that. I didn’t think it would get as popular as it has, but it’s gotten to be a really catchy story for people.

CT: So do you use Bitcoin in everyday life?

LH: Yeah, I do, I try to whenever I can. I’ve bought many things over the years with it, I play around with the Bitcoin software and things like that, but I try to kind of keep it as a hobby.

But I haven’t really used Bitcoin much in face-to-face payments. I’ve done it mostly online. It’s one of those things where I like to keep an eye on it and I like to participate in online, but as far as face-to-face stuff, I just feel like it’s not really the best. It tends to be more frustrating, and the goal is that Bitcoin should become better than the status quo, right?

CT: What’s your favorite cryptocurrency?

LH: Bitcoin! [Laughs]

CT: What’s your favorite pizza?

LH: Pizza? I like Supreme.

CT: In your original post from the first Pizza Day, you compared your desire to buy a pizza with buying a hotel breakfast platter. What is your ideal hotel breakfast platter?

LH: Oh, I don’t know. I like eggs, bacon, pancakes – you know, standard stuff.

Just to expand on that – the reason that I compared it that way – I was thinking of the experience of me picking up the phone and saying “Hey, I’d like breakfast in room 123”, and I just get charged on my account and I get the food delivered to me – I don’t care how they did it. Whether it’s a contractor, or Papa John’s, or whoever brings it. What I was trying to do was make it clear that I didn’t want somebody to send me a Papa John’s gift card, or a Domino’s credit or anything like that – I wanted food and I wanted to pay Bitcoins for food. Because if I can buy food with it, then it’s it’s as real as any other money, right? Food is a basic necessity — if I can eat from Bitcoin, I can live off of Bitcoin.

CT: Does your current job involve working with cryptocurrency?

LH: I don’t really like engaging in it as a primary business, it’s sort of a side project for me. I know that’s kind of weird to explain to people, but I feel like that keeps it more fun for me – than if it was like a nine-to-five kind of thing of “Oh, you know, let’s do some crypto business.” I don’t want to be one of those guys with like a scam ICO or something like that.

Just recently at my job, I kind of convinced people here to accept Bitcoin, and, being a developer, I integrated it on our website. We are trying to see how that goes now. People here are excited about it, they’re excited about about what I’d done and everything. And so we’re trying it out. I’m kind of applying my hobby at work now, so that’s pretty cool when you can do that.

CT: Have you ever thought about buying a pizza with any other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin?

LH: I like Bitcoin. I was around early, when it was just Bitcoin, and to me, the copycat coins or whatever you want to call them – you know 90% of these things are simply a copy-paste of Bitcoin, and they changed the logo, or they changed something. I’m not that interested in those, I am interested in Bitcoin.

CT: Do you think that your original Bitcoin pizza purchase directly influenced the fact that you can now buy pizza and other food with Bitcoin?

LH: I’d like to think that what I did helped. But I think if it wasn’t me, somebody else would have come along. And maybe it wouldn’t have been pizza. But I think Bitcoin was kind of destined to get big, and I didn’t know everything about Bitcoin back then – I mean, I had only been playing with it a couple months, and I figured out how to mine, I actually wrote the first GPU miner – and that’s how I got all those Bitcoins that I was kind of giving away…

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