Original Pizza Day Purchaser Does It Again With Bitcoin Lightning Network

Laszlo Hanyecz, the man that completed the world’s first documented Bitcoin (BTC) transaction for a physical item in 2010 - 10,000 BTC for two pizzas - has now bought two more pizzas using the Bitcoin Lightning Network.

Hanyecz posted on the Lightning-dev mailing list today, Feb. 25, that he had to get his friend in London to “sub contract” out the pizza delivery to a local pizza place in order to pay on the Lightning Network, because “pizza/bitcoin atomic swap software” is yet unavailable.

However, 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-pizza transaction took place on May 22, 2010 and has been celebrated as Bitcoin Pizza Day ever since. There is a Twitter feed dedicated to a daily posting of what 10,000 BTC equals according to that day’s market value -- today’s value is tweeted as $97,560,750.

This time around Hanyecz paid 649000 satoshis, or 0.00649 bitcoins, which equals around $62 for both pizzas.

In order to receive the pizza, Hanyecz decided that the best way to prove he had paid for it was to show the driver the first and last four characters of the hex string of his Lightning payment hash preimage, and if it matched with what the driver had, he would get his pizza.

Hanyecz posits the pizzas as prizes to be received only if the lightning transaction can be done successfully, writing that if he couldn’t show the driver the pre-image, “the pizza would not be handed over and it would be destroyed.”

The trial was a success, Hanyecz got his pizzas, but he added that “it's probably not a good practice to share the preimage.”

Hanyecz included a link in his post to several photos of him and his family enjoying the pizzas, one kid wearing an “I love pizza” shirt, the other in an “I love Bitcoin” one, and the notepad with the partial preimage displayed in front of the pizza box:

The first ever documented physical purchase on the Lightning Network, a “second layer” payment protocol considered the next step in BTC’s evolution by increasing the capacity of the network for a global audience, reportedly took place on Jan. 20 of this year. Reddit user /u/btc_throwaway1337 posted that he bought a VPN Router through a payment channel provided by TorGuard, a purchase comparable in significance to the original Pizza day.

Hanyecz ends the post about his successful lightning BTC-pizza transaction by asking his readers, “So is there any point to doing this instead of an on chain transaction?  For what I described here, probably not:” 

“The goal was just to play around with c-lightning and do something more than shuffling a few satoshi back and forth.  Maybe eventually pizza shops will have their own lightning nodes and I can open channels to them directly.”

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