May 22, 2010.
Maybe you know that date, maybe not. In crypto circles, it’s a day that lives in infamy.
That’s the day when a Florida programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz initiated the very first purchase using bitcoin.
He bought two Papa Johns pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. At the time, those bitcoins were worth a combined total of about $41.
Today…well, they’re worth slightly more.
How much more?
Almost half a billion dollars.
With bitcoin roughly $45,000 per coin as I write this, Hanyecz’s tokens would add up to about $450,000,000.
Man, I hope that pizza tasted good!
Now, to be fair, no one can fault Laszlo for his purchase. At the time, he was making a statement: that bitcoin can, in fact, be used as a medium of exchange.
That was a huge statement back in those days, when bitcoin was just over a year old, and no one had an inkling of what it would become.
But more than a decade later, there’s still an important lesson we can learn from Laszlo’s pizza purchase: Do NOT trade an appreciating asset for a consumable asset or an asset with diminishing value.
I bring this up because news emerged in recent days that AMC Theaters will soon install technology allowing moviegoers to use bitcoin as payment for film tickets and concessions. (Of course, given how much AMC charges for concessions, you’ll probably need a good six or seven bitcoins just to afford the popcorn and a soft drink.)
Now, I’m sure you already aware of this, but if anyone you know ever tries to use bitcoin to pay for a ticket to Star Wars 37: Rise of the Geriatrics, please rush them to the ER immediately because they very likely have fallen and have brain damage.
Whether it’s movies or groceries or a new Tesla, spending bitcoin on a consumer purchase at this point in bitcoin’s history is just crazy.
I genuinely believe bitcoin will reach seven figures at some point this decade. So, that future value of bitcoin means you’re turning a valuable asset into a forgotten item lost in the history of your many purchases in life.
Right now, the cost for a family of four to go to an AMC Theater in Los Angeles is close to $65.
If you pay that amount in bitcoin and the crypto subsequently rises to $1 million per token, then the bitcoin you spent at the theater would be worth almost $1,500. That’s an expensive movie—a movie you will likely have forgotten about.
So, forget about using bitcoin for everyday payments.
However, the AMC story is notable in another way: It is an additional proof point in the ongoing story of crypto’s emergence as a mainstream technology.
These stories are everywhere nowadays.
Just this week, reports emerged that PNC Bank, the fifth largest in the U.S., is working with the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase on a project that will allow PNC to offer crypto investment services to clients.
Soon enough, you’re also going to be reading about Fidelity Investments offering crypto trading.
And you’re going to be hearing about credit card giant Visa offering back-office services that allow every bank in the land to offer crypto to mom-and-pop savers through a traditional bank account.
So, praise to AMC for accepting bitcoin. Just proves my point that we are entering the mainstream crypto age.
But please, for the sake of your own wealth, never spend bitcoin on a movie and popcorn. That would be its own horror script.