2010's 10,000 Bitcoins Pizza Guy Repeats Feat With Ancient Lightning Network Transaction


The «Bitcoin pizza guy» is at it again.

Laszlo Hanyecz, famous for making the first documented transaction where Bitcoin was used to buy a physical item, recently christened the Lightning Network (LN) with the help of a sympathetic pizza delivery driver and a jerry-rigged atomic swap.

Hanyecz ensconced his place at Bitcoin lore on May 22, 2010, when he paid another early adopter 10,000 BTC to order him two pizzas. This trade — believed to be the first in which a seller accepted a Bitcoin payment for a physical item — spawned both Bitcoin Pizza Day and the «Bitcoin Pizza Index,» which calculates the present value of coins used in that historical trade.

On Feb. 25, Hanyecz shown on the Lightning Network development mailing list he had made a similar purchase with the nascent LN mainnet (although not the first to use it to pay for a physical item).

He explained:

«In short, I paid bitcoin using the lightning network and he ordered for pizza to be delivered to me. In this trade my buddy is only a middle man that's taking the risk on accepting lightning payments, but it demonstrates the basic premise of how this works for everyday transactions.

This time, though, the transaction set him back just 649000 satoshis (0.00649 BTC), which works out to about $63 in the current exchange rate.

Source: Laszlo Hanyecz

To make the purchase as „trustless“ as possible, both parties opened a payment station, which Hanyecz funded to prove that he had the BTC. When the delivery driver arrived at his residence, Hanyecz showed him a portion of the payment hash preimage, which matched what the driver was given by the seller and proved that the buyer had paid the bill.

Revealing part of one's hash preimage, Hanyecz stressed, is normally not advisable, but he did so in this example in order to further improve the trustless nature of the experimentation.

Reflecting on the trade, Hanyecz said that — at present — there was actually nothing gained by completing the purchase off-chain within the Lightning Network instead of a traditional on-chain payment. However, he forecast that this might not always be so.

»So is there any point to doing this instead of an on chain trade? 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 stores will have their own lightning nodes and I can open channels to them directly," he reasoned.