Cryptocurrency: a force for good?
By Oliver Pickup
Bitcoin Pizza Day, celebrated on May 22, commemorates the first real-world cryptocurrency transaction, completed on that date in 2010. Laszlo Hanyecz exchanged 10,000 bitcoins – then the equivalent of $80 and now worth around $70 million – for two large pizzas.
Facilitating the purchase of an Italian cheese-and-tomato-based food staple is unlikely to have been what Satoshi Nakamoto had in mind when publishing the bitcoin white paper in October 2008, before mining the genesis block and launching the network the following January.
However, it’s impossible to know for sure, because Nakamoto has remained both anonymous and silent since establishing the original cryptocurrency, which has now spawned more than 1,500 others. In the eight years since Mr Hanyecz’s pizza purchase, the value of cryptos, both financially and in terms of benefitting society, has expanded exponentially.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.