Celebrating Bitcoin Pizza Day: Exploring Bitcoin's Biggest Milestones in 13 Years and Beyond
Welcome to the world of Bitcoin, where every day celebrates innovation and progress. Today, we commemorate the 13th anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day, a momentous event that marked the first-ever transaction using this revolutionary digital currency. But this is just one of many milestones in Bitcoin's roadmap over the past 13 years. Since the creation of the blockchain, Bitcoin has transformed how we think about money and the possibilities of technology.
Bitcoin Pizza Day is an important day for all crypto enthusiasts worldwide. On this very same day, 13 years ago, an early Bitcoin adopter used his BTC coins to conduct the first-ever recorded real-world transaction significantly important day to remember and celebrate the years that have seen Bitcoin adoption grow by leaps and bounds and the crypto market’s worth soar to an all-time high past $3 trillion.
We at KuCoin plan to celebrate the spirit of Bitcoin Pizza Day with a look back at all the significant milestones in Bitcoin’s history since May 22, 2010, till today. Who’s up for a rollercoaster ride down memory lane with us?
Significance of Bitcoin Pizza Day
Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned his creation as an alternative digital currency that could replace traditional, centralized fiat currency when he authored the Bitcoin whitepaper and mined the first ever BTC in January 2009. But it wasn’t until more than a year later that his vision was realized for the first time.
On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz - an early adopter of Bitcoin, used 10,000 BTC to buy two Papa John’s pizzas. This was the first ever officially recorded real-world transaction made using BTC as a payment method.
Although, keep in mind that this was not a direct transaction. Hanyecz posted on the Bitcointalk.org forum that he would give 10,000 BTC to any user who could sell him two pizzas. The offer was promptly taken up by a teenager, Jeremy Sturdivant, who bought the pizzas from Papa John’s and delivered them to Hanyecz, receiving 10,000 BTC for this order.
Also referred to as the “Bitcoin Pizza Transaction,” it is regarded as a crucial milestone in the history of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. Bitcoin Pizza Day holds a special place in the history of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market. It represents the early days of the original crypto, well before most of the mainstream world was even aware of it or took it seriously.
For crypto lovers, Laszlo's purchase spearheaded real-world value and utility for Bitcoin as a medium of exchange, even for everyday goods. It highlighted the potential of cryptocurrencies to revolutionize traditional financial systems.
Since then, the worldwide crypto community has celebrated this occasion to remember how far Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have come. The event underscores the importance of adoption and how individual transactions can impact the perception and development of new technology.
Bitcoin Value: A Look Back at All the Ups and Downs
Since the day Hanyecz spent 10,000 BTC to buy two pizzas, the value of Bitcoin has appreciated significantly over the years. This date is also a way to celebrate the HODLers in the crypto community, reminding users of the long-term potential for growth in the value of crypto assets, especially the crypto king Bitcoin.
Bitcoin’s Price on Pizza Day: How it’s Changed Over the Years
Here’s an overview of the most memorable moments in Bitcoin’s history since the first Bitcoin Pizza Transaction 13 years ago:
2010-2013: WikiLeaks, BitPay, Mt. Gox Hacks, and First Bitcoin Halving
At the time when Laszlo Hanyecz traded in his Bitcoins for pizza, BTC had almost no worth. Considering he sold 10,000 BTC for two pizzas that cost around $30, we could estimate the BTC price to be around 0.03 cents in May.
However, his actions spurred greater interest in the original cryptocurrency, helping its price surge to $0.09 by July 2010. In a few short months, the BTC price breached the all-important $1 mark in February 2011.
2011 is looked upon by many Bitcoin lovers as the year crypto adoption truly took off. This year, WikiLeaks announced that it would start accepting donations in BTC after other payment methods were blocked. In May 2011, Bitcoin payment processor BitPay was founded, offering businesses mobile checkout services so they could start accepting payments in Bitcoins.
However, the crypto exchange Mt. Gox suffered its first hack in 2011, losing 2,000 BTC valued at $30,000 at the time. Investors, however, paid no heed to the hack, taking Bitcoin’s market cap past $1 billion for the first time.
The first ever Bitcoin halving also occurred during this timeframe, on November 28, 2012. While the event had no immediate impact on the market, by early 2013, it helped Bitcoin’s value climb steadily.
The year 2013 saw the first Bitcoin ATM installed in Vancouver, Canada. This event occurred in October, making BTC more accessible to the general public. However, 2013 was a bad year for Bitcoin lovers as Mt. Gox suffered a second, more severe hack, which ultimately resulted in its collapse. This brought on a two-year bear market for Bitcoin, keeping its price under pressure.
2014-2017: Bitcoin Price Touches $20,000, Second Bitcoin Halving, and BCH Fork
Bitcoin’s next bull run resumed in 2016, and by late 2017, it was trading close to the $20,000 level. This price rally captured mainstream attention and sparked a global interest in cryptocurrencies.
In October 2015, Bitcoin’s value started rising again as the next halving date neared. The second Bitcoin halving occurred on July 9, 2016, although the value of BTC had started surging by May of the year.
However, the rising adoption brought scalability challenges, causing the Bitcoin blockchain to be forked to create Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in 2017. The enthusiasm this time was short-lived as BTC turned around and headed into another bear period in the same year.
2018-2020: ICO Bubble, Bitcoin Adoption Rises Among Institutional Investors
By 2018, the BTC price fell to a low of $3,250. Things started looking up for Bitcoin investors after this dip as the ICO bubble started to take over the crypto market. As more crypto projects launched via ICOs, the demand for BTC started rising, helping support the price of Bitcoin in the market through 2017-18.
By the time of the third Bitcoin halving on May 11, 2020, when the block reward fell from 12.5 BTC to 6.25 BTC, Bitcoin was riding a bull wave. Rising interest in Bitcoin and altcoins among institutional investors and the COVID-19 crisis further helped cement Bitcoin’s position as a store of value and a hedge against inflation.
Renowned companies, such as Tesla and MicroStrategy, made substantial Bitcoin purchases, further validating its status as a legitimate asset class. Major payment processors, including PayPal, also started facilitating Bitcoin transactions, contributing to its widespread acceptance.
2021: Crypto Bull Run, Bitcoin ETF, Lightning Network, and Taproot Upgrade
By Q1 2021, the demand for Bitcoin increased among retail and institutional investors. In a significant development for institutional adoption, Wall Street saw the launch of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) in 2021. This ETF, which tracks the performance of Bitcoin futures contracts, marked a milestone for Bitcoin is gaining recognition as an investment vehicle.
Bitcoin gained traction among institutional investors during this period. The $5.5 billion Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund (HFRRF) became the first U.S. pension fund to invest in Bitcoin and Ether, signaling growing institutional confidence in cryptocurrencies.
Walmart, one of the largest retail chains, enabled customers to convert their loose change into Bitcoin, challenging the perception of Bitcoin's worthlessness. This move increased accessibility and awareness of Bitcoin among a broader audience.
Bitcoin Lightning Network Implementation
As the Bitcoin network has grown, there have been continuous advancements in the underlying technology. These improvements have made the network more secure, scalable, and efficient. One such significant development was the implementation of the Lightning Network, which has helped to increase the transaction speed and reduce transaction fees, making Bitcoin more suitable for everyday use.
The Bitcoin Lightning Network is a second-layer scaling solution that addresses Bitcoin's scalability limitations. It enables fast and inexpensive transactions by establishing off-chain payment channels between users. The Lightning Network promotes scalability, near-instant transactions, and increased privacy.
The Taproot Upgrade, a soft fork of the Bitcoin network, was activated in November 2021. Taproot further enhanced transaction privacy, efficiency, and flexibility while improving the scripting capabilities of smart contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain.
This upgrade introduced a new scheme called Schnorr signatures, allowing for more compact transaction sizes and increased privacy. It also enabled the implementation of more complex smart contracts with improved efficiency and lower transaction fees.
2022: High Inflation Fears and Crypto Winter Bear Down on BTC Price
The year 2021 effectively ended the biggest bull run in Bitcoin’s price. The Bitcoin price touched an all-time high of around $69,000 in November 2021. In addition, Bitcoin saw two key technical developments rolled out: the Lightning Network and the Taproot Upgrade.
However, 2022 was a more subdued year from the perspective of Bitcoin’s price performance. Despite technical strengths such as maintaining 100% uptime and growth of Bitcoin’s Lightning Network throughout the year, Bitcoin lost almost 65% of its market value during this year. The fear of rising inflation in global financial markets and the crypto winter caused by the Terra LUNA and UST crash, the collapse of DeFi biggies like Celsius Network and Voyager, and the FTX fiasco were critical drivers of this bearish cycle.
2023: Market Sentiment Recovers, Bitcoin Ordinals, and BRC-20 Tokens Gain Attention
From market sentiment and technical perspectives, 2023 has begun on a more optimistic note for Bitcoin. As fears of hyperinflation faded from global financial markets, the crypto market increased buying activity, helping the Bitcoin price to as high as $30,000 in the initial months of the year.
On the technical front, a new project on the Bitcoin network called the Ordinals was launched in January 2023. Bitcoin Ordinals enable the creation of Bitcoin-native on-chain non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Led by former Bitcoin Core contributor Casey Rodarmor, the Ordinals protocol allows for numbering and transferring individual satoshis (the smallest unit of Bitcoin) on the Bitcoin network.
Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 Take Over the Crypto and NFT Markets
Bitcoin BRC-20 tokens are an experimental token standard that relies on the Ordinals protocol, similar to Ethereum’s ERC-20 token standard. BRC-20 tokens use ordinal inscriptions, up to 4MB in size, layered on top of the Bitcoin blockchain.
Although still experimental, the Ordinals-powered BRC-20 stole the spotlight in May 2023 when an explosion of BRC-20 tokens was created on the Bitcoin network. Since its launch in March 2023, BRC-20 tokens have surged in popularity and were attributed to temporarily bringing down the Bitcoin blockchain during the weekend of May 6, 2023.
The number of unconfirmed transactions surged to a record high on the Bitcoin network during this period, while transaction fees spiked to as high as $120, owing to BRC-20 tokens’ trading activity. At the time of writing, more than 24,000 BRC-20 tokens exist on the Bitcoin network, with a market capitalization of over $468 million.
This year, another remarkable development in Bitcoin has been the number of Bitcoin addresses holding one or more BTC touching 1 million. According to data from Glassnode, this milestone was reached on May 13, 2023.
Number of Bitcoin addresses holding 1 or more BTC | Image source: Glassnode.com
What’s Coming Up Next? Bitcoin Halving in 2024
Beyond today’s Bitcoin Pizza Day celebrations, Bitcoin enthusiasts have much to look forward to. Even as the ongoing frenzy around Bitcoin Ordinals and BRC-20 tokens keeps the network busy in the short term, the next significant milestone worth watching for Bitcoin investors is the upcoming Bitcoin halving event scheduled in 2024.
The next Bitcoin halving will occur in April 2024, bringing down the block rewards from the current 6.25 BTC per block to 3.125 BTC. The resulting decline in the rate at which new BTC coins are minted could trigger a price increase in BTC.
The halving event further increases Bitcoin's scarcity by reducing the supply of newly minted Bitcoins entering the market. This reduction in supply, combined with ongoing demand, can potentially drive up the price of Bitcoin.
While some analysts predict that the next Bitcoin halving event could trigger a rally in BTC price to $100,000, it is crucial to remember that the cryptocurrency market is dynamic and can be influenced by numerous variables. However, the event could drive considerable interest in buying and holding BTC among investors globally.
How to Celebrate Bitcoin Pizza Day With KuCoin
If you are a crypto lover like us, here are some ways to commemorate this special day and revel in its spirit:
Buy and HODL Bitcoin on KuCoin Spot Market
One of the key takeaways of Bitcoin Pizza Day is that it’s great to HODL BTC. If you own Bitcoin, hold on to it for your dear life, as Bitcoin maximalists do! And if you don’t own any BTC yet, today’s a great day to enter the market. Buy Bitcoin on KuCoin Spot Market and store it securely, hoping it will grow in value over the coming months and years.
Put Your BTC to Work with KuCoin Earn and KuCoin Wealth
Use your Bitcoin holdings and earn passive income with KuCoin Earn and KuCoin Wealth. Invest your BTC coins on our platform and earn lucrative returns to grow your crypto portfolio securely while you put your Bitcoins to work for you.
Mine BTC With KuCoin Cloud Mining
Earn BTC daily by contributing your computing resources via KuCoin’s Cloud Mining service. Use our optimized algorithms to mine BTC more efficiently and cost-effectively. Our robust mining pool can offer guaranteed and stable earnings on your contribution without compromising your security.
Bitcoin Pizza Day commemorates the remarkable journey of the world's leading cryptocurrency. In the 13 years since the first real-world Bitcoin transaction, BTC has evolved into a worldwide sensation, with countless users across the globe utilizing it for various applications.
As we look to the future, Bitcoin's prospects are promising, with continuous advancements and breakthroughs occurring daily in the crypto market. Celebrating Bitcoin Pizza Day allows us to reflect on the extraordinary journey Bitcoin has embarked on thus far and eagerly anticipate the exciting developments.