One of the most well-known stories in bitcoin folklore is the famous purchase of two large pizzas for 10,000 BTC. The story has aged well as the price keeps rising; the story just gets better and better, today those pizzas cost a whopping $100 million.
Laszlo Hanyecz was the man that paid for these two pizzas in May of 2010, which at the time was a massive achievement for the digital currency that was only a year old. The day has been immortalised as ‘bitcoin Pizza day’ and is celebrated amongst bitcoin enthusiasts.
Perhaps a new bitcoin holiday will be born as Laszlo Hanyecz recently paid much less bitcoin for two large pizzas. However, he used the lightning network to do so this time and the fees were negligible and the payment instant. The long-forgotten dream of bitcoin being a micro payment service has been revived with the recent advancements in the lighting network.
Today the number of nodes has grown to over 2,843 and there are currently over 15,612 channels. Despite a lack of non-buggy GUI’s many users have started using the mainnet lighting network to pay for goods. Blockstream has started selling stickers for bitcoin via the lighting network and now Laszlo has bought the first pizza.
The #LightningNetwork on testnet is absolutely massive! 😲Developers from all over the world are testing it, running nodes, adding channels and sending payments to one another. Keep up the good work! 👍👏⚡️#bitcoin #segwit #BitcoinIsScaling— Armin van Bitcoin ⚡ (@ArminVanBitcoin) February 24, 2018
Channels: 15,612 pic.twitter.com/fMwoLE7bfc
The bitcoin scaling debate has been raging for over two years and culminated last December where fees were exceeding $100 and payments were taking hours and sometimes days to send. As the markets have cooled down and more of the largest exchanges have added SegWit the fees and mempool have been coming down.
There are many critics of the lighting network and its is not yet sure if it will be the silver bullet to bitcoins scaling issues. Reliable and bug tested GUIs with user friendly apps are needed next and the real test will be the level of merchant adoption.