What and when is “bitcoin pizza day”?
SW: Bitcoin pizza day is celebrated every year on 22 May. On 22 May, 2010 one of the early adopters of bitcoin, a Florida man named Laszlo Hanyecz, made a purchase of two Papa Johns pizzas and used 10,000 bitcoin to buy them. At the time the purchase equated to around $40USD, at the conversion rate today, 10,000 bitcoin is worth around $388Million USD (i.e. about 340 Million euros)! Laszlo is regularly interviewed about this purchase and he consistently says he has ‘no regrets’ – he mined these bitcoin and has no idea that they would increase in value at such a phenomenal rate. The purchase was made when Laszlo posted a message on a cryptography board asking if anyone would buy him two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoin – it was Jeremy Sturdivant, a student in California, that took up the offer and made the Papa John pizza order for him. Sadly Jeremy also lost out and spent all of the 10,000 bitcoin later that year on travelling. This was the world’s first bitcoin payment for real goods. To be kind to Laszlo both the pizzas he received were in fact large ones, so it was not such a bad deal after all!
I’ve heard of Bitcoin Cash, is it the same as bitcoin?
SW: Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) are 2 different crypto currencies. The website for Bitcoin is www.bitcoin.org and the website for Bitcoin Cash is www.bitcoin.com
Bitcoin was the first crypto currency, launched back in 2009 and Bitcoin Cash was created on 1 August, 2017 through what is known as a hard fork – this occurs when a group of individuals agree to create a new crypto currency and a new blockchain is created.
Since its inception there have been many improvements made to the original bitcoin and they are often debated at length before they are implemented. Bitcoin has suffered from scaling issues since day one e.g. even today it can only cope with about 7 transactions per second [compare this to the Visa/Mastercard networks which currently process around 1,700 transactions per second]. Bitcoin Cash solved this scaling problem by creating a larger blocksize, bitcoins blocksize is 1Meg and Bitcoin Cash started out life at 8 Meg. [In May 2018 BitCoin Cash expanded its blocksize again raising it to 32 Meg]. The creation of BitCoin Cash was not a friendly time, as techies argued the pros/cons of keeping the blocksize at 1 Meg – this time is now referred to as the blocksize wars.
Both crypto currencies exist independent of each other and bitcoin is relying on something called the ‘Lightning Network to scale – this creates a second layer on top of bitcoin where transaction speeds are near instant and fees are almost zero. It has been predicted that the ‘Lightning Network’ will be able to handle up to 15 million transactions per second, although its adoption has been slow. Meanwhile some Bitcoin Cash supporters have moved over to Bitcoin SV (BSV) – a hard from Bitcoin Cash that initially had a blocksize of 128 Meg and has since expanded this to 2,000 Meg [2 Gig] – just as well the size of our hard disks is on the increase!
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It should be noted that neither The Portugal News nor Stephen Whitelaw will provide any financial advice in relation to crypto.
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