Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

‘Seems like a good price’: Video of $1m bitcoin pizza order from 2011 resurfaces as value hits all-time high

The cryptocurrency was worth less than a dollar at the time

Anthony Cuthbertson
Friday 12 February 2021 17:15 GMT
A Domino’s pizza order from February 2011 cost 19 bitcoins
A Domino’s pizza order from February 2011 cost 19 bitcoins (Getty Images)

A video of an online pizza purchase using bitcoin from 2011 has resurfaced after the cryptocurrency reached a new all-time high.

Bitcoin enthusiast Michael Hendricks filmed the process of buying a Domino’s pizza and uploaded it to YouTube in order to demonstrate how the nascent cryptocurrency could be used to make real-world transactions.

The price of bitcoin is currently trading at around $48,000 but at the time, one bitcoin was worth less than a dollar. At today’s exchange rate, the pizza would be close to $1 million.

“In this video I’ll show you how to buy a pizza using bitcoin,” begins the video, which reached a fresh audience this week after being shared across Reddit and social media.

After going through the process of setting up the order of the $17.37 pizza, Mr Hendricks completes the purchase by transferring his bitcoin into a Domino’s giftcard using a service called CoinCard.

“Converting into bitcoins at the current MtGox exchange rate, that gives you 19.12 bitcoins,” he says.

“So that is exactly what I want to do, that seems like a good price.”

Less than a year before Mr Hendricks’ bought his pizza, early adopter Laszlo Hanyecz made the first documented purchase of a real-world good when he paid 10,000 bitcoins for two Papa John’s pizzas from Jeremy Sturdivant (Jercos).

After the price of bitcoin surged dramatically in the following months and years, the transaction became part of bitcoin’s folklore and is even celebrated each year on 22 May as Bitcoin Pizza Day.

At today’s price, the bitcoins used to buy the two pizzas – valued at $41 at the time – would be worth close to half a billion dollars.

Laszlo Hanyecz wrote in a bitcoin forum in 2010: ‘I’ll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas’ (CC)

On the 10 year anniversary of the purchase, Mr Hanyecz told CoinDesk that he had no regrets about spending the cryptocurrency on pizza.

“Bitcoin is a way to harness greed,” he said, revealing that the online retailer he works for accepts and stores crypto payments. “We’ve just been holding it and we’re actually up a significant amount.”

In an interview with Bloomberg this week, Mr Hanyecz said he had no more plans to buy anything with bitcoin, not even an electric vehicle after Tesla announced a $1.5bn investment into the cryptocurrency.

“Personally, I am not too interested in Tesla,” he said.

“If you give it five years, I think the bitcoin you’d spend will be more valuable than the car.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in