…this time, in a slightly different context.
Eight years ago, Laszlo Hanyecz completed the first ever Bitcoin transaction for a physical good. Armed with 10,000 BTC – an astronomical sum in today’s conversion rate – he purchased two pizzas.
Today, history repeated itself as Hanyecz purchased two more pizzas with the world’s pioneer cryptocurrency. This time, however, he did it on the newly-launched Lightning Network.
Hanyecz documented this process in a message on the Lightning-developers’ mailing list. In the message, Hanyecz documented how the process was like. Turns out, it wasn’t as smooth-sailing as we would expect it to be – as none of the local pizza places accepted lightning Bitcoin, he had to reach out to a friend in London to “subcontract” out the pizza delivery to a local shop in order to make that happen.
“As far as I know we don’t yet have pizza/bitcoin atomic swap software,” Hanyecz explained the reason behind the pseudo-replication of the initial Bitcoin transaction, which took place on the conventional blockchain.
Nevertheless, according to Hanyecz, the transaction still “demonstrates the basic premise of how this works for everyday transactions. It could just as well be the pizza shop accepting the payment directly with their own lightning node.”
The original BTC-for-pizza transaction took place on May 22, 2010, and since then, the date has been hailed as the iconic “Bitcoin Pizza Day”. In fact, there is even a Twitter account with over 6,000 followers that is dedicated to posting daily tweets announcing the price of the two pizzas Hanyecz bought 8 years ago at today’s conversion rate.
The #Bitcoin pizza is worth $98,300,725 today. (+0.76% from yesterday)
— Bitcoin Pizza 🍕 (@bitcoin_pizza) February 26, 2018
Funnily enough, thanks to the meteoric increase in Bitcoin’s value over the years, what cost Hanyecz 10,000 BTC (approx. $98,300,725) to purchase 8 years ago could be bought with as little as 0.00649 BTC today.
Did It Work?
The transaction between Hanyecz and the pizza delivery guy was fairly straightforward – in order to verify that Hanyecz was the person who paid for the pizzas, he would have to compare the first and last four characters of the hex string of his Lightning payment hash pre-image with the drivers’. If both combinations match, the payment is valid and Hanyecz gets his pizzas.
Conversely, if the Lightning payment was unsuccessful or did not take place, Hanyecz wouldn’t be able to show the pizza delivery guy the right pre-image, and “the pizza would not be handed over and it would be destroyed.”
Fortunately, the trial was a success, and Hanyecz received his pizzas.