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He Paid How Much?! CoinDesk Releases 'Bitcoin Pizza Day' Price Tracker

Eight years ago today, the first reported exchange of bitcoin for a consumer product – a pair of Papa John’s pizzas – took place.

At a total cost of 10,000 bitcoins, it was a milestone for the adoption of cryptocurrency and one that has since been commemorated though the celebration of May 22 as “Bitcoin Pizza Day.”

Yet even the most cursory observation of Bitcoin Pizza Day isn’t complete without a calculation of precisely how much, in dollar terms, those two pizzas cost. With that, CoinDesk is today releasing a new widget that provides a real-time calculation that you can add to any website.

As of press time, that’s about $83.7 million for the two pies, or just shy of $42 million apiece.

But why does this matter? To understand, one needs to wind back the clock to 2010.

In mid-May of that year, a programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz sought to exchange some of his hard-earned bitcoins for pizza – several days later, he was able to do so with the aid of a fellow user of the Bitcoin Talk online forum, then a central hub for discussion around cryptocurrency.

A deal was struck: 10,000 BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas. That eye-watering amount was worth a mere $25 at the time, or a fraction of a penny apiece.

Yet at the time, it wasn’t so much the number of bitcoins spent or the product involved – the event was a milestone simply because the transaction had taken place. Though limited to 16 slices of pizza, the era of bitcoin-powered commerce had begun – not to mention the silent wincing over spending millions of dollars for two pizzas.

“It wasn’t like bitcoins had any value back then, so the idea of trading them for a pizza was incredibly cool,” Hanyecz said in a 2013 interview with The New York Times, adding:

“No one knew it was going to get so big.”

Still, the tradition lives on, with the purchase being used to track other notable bitcoin milestones.

Indeed, it was Hanyecz himself who would later participate in what might one day be known as “Lightning Pizza Day” after he used the next-generation technology, now in development, to purchase a pie in February.

Pizza image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Why Ethereum’s (ETH) Vitalik Buterin Boycotted Consensus 2018

As the Consensus 2018 event came to a close only a few hours ago, one participant was visibly missing from the event in New York. That person is none other than the co-founder, creator and inventor of Ethereum (ETH), Vitalik Buterin. Mr. Buterin was also one of the original founders of Bitcoin Magazine that has gained prominence in the Crypto-space over the years.

Buterin had informed the Crypto-verse of his intention to Boycott the Consensus Summit this year via a tweet a while back in mid February. In it, he had the following to say about the event:

I am boycotting @coindesk‘s Consensus 2018 conference this year, and strongly encourage others to do the same. Here is my reasoning why. 1. Coindesk is recklessly complicit in enabling giveaway scams. See their latest article on OMG, which *directly links* to a giveaway scam.

The Tweet was accompanied by the following screenshot that explains the issue further:

                                    Screenshot that accompanied the Tweet highlighting the scam

In this tweet, we see first hand, the first reason Buterin decided to boycott the summit. Coindesk, being the host of Consensus, had published an article (screenshot above) that ‘promoted’ a scam directly. Perhaps the article was an honest mistake. Back in February, scams were not that easy to identify or writers were not cautious enough then.

The article was later updated with edits removing the said fake airdrop of OMG. But the damage had already been done. Buterin had decided not to attend.

He then gave 3 more reasons for his Boycott as outlined below.

On April 26th, and on the same Tweeter thread as the first, Buterin added that he was not pleased with Coindesk’s coverage of EIP 999. The tweet read as follows:

2. Their coverage of EIP 999 was terrible. They published a highly sensationalist article claiming the chain would split, when it was very clear that EIP 999 was *very far* from acceptance. This is why pundits need to be replaced by prediction markets, ASAP.

EIP 999 was a proposal to recover the funds that were locked up in the Parity Wallet.

A third reason Mr. Buterin would not attend the Coindesk event was highlighted by him on the same day via twitter:

3. Their reporting policies are designed to trap you with gotchas. Did you know that if you send them a reply, and you explicitly say that some part is off the record, that’s explicitly on the record unless you go through a request/approve dance first?

The fourth and final reason Mr. Buterin was completely against the summit, was the exorbitant attendance fee of $2,000. Not too many Crypto-enthusiasts can afford to ‘cough out’ that amount of money. Buterin had this to say about the attendance charge at the event:

4. And by the way, the conference costs $2-3k to attend. I refuse to personally contribute to that level of rent seeking.

In conclusion, Vitalik Buterin put forth some valid points for not attending the highly anticipated Consensus Summit that just concluded in New York City. One reason that might hit home for many Crypto-enthusiasts, was the $2,000 attendance fee. This is a large amount of money considering that the crypto-verse is based on the core principal of decentralization and having the ‘little guy’ have a say in the happenings of the industry.

Perhaps what Coindesk might have done to ease the feeling of being left out that many Crypto-enthusiasts might have experienced, was to have a few live feeds via the numerous social media sites and apps. Tron has been known to utilize social media very well when making announcements. Justin Sun and the Tron technical team utilize Twitter and Periscope whenever their is a big announcement such as the recent TestNet launch on the 31st of March.

There is no doubt that a similar live broadcast will be organized for the MainNet launch on the 31st of this month, that is less than 2 weeks away.

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Ripple (XRP) Launches Xpring, An Incubator for Startups and Entrepreneurs

The crypto-markets seem to be in the green this morning as more and more attention is focused on the ongoing Consensus 2018 event currently ongoing in New York City. Last year’s Consensus event was responsible for a 27% increase in the total market capitalization of the crypto-verse. Crypto traders expect a similar reaction from this year’s event. When we look at our beloved Ripple (XRP), the coin is currently up 4.09% in 24 hours and trading at $0.74 at the moment of writing this.

At the same time the event is going on in New York, the Ripple team announced a new initiative to invest in, incubate, acquire and provide grants to companies and projects run by proven entrepreneurs and who will use the digital asset, XRP, and the XRP Ledger. This initiative has been branded as Xpring (pronounced Spring) and has already benefited four entrepreneurs as follows and from the Ripple website:

  • Scooter Braun, entertainment talent manager, entrepreneur and founder of SB Projects, who is pursuing several endeavors that will use XRP to improve artists’ ability to monetize and manage their content
  • Stefan Thomas, inventor of the Interledger Protocol (ILP), creator of BitcoinJS, co-founder of TxtBear, who just launched a new venture Coil to use XRP and the Interledger Protocol (ILP) for various micropayments applications, such as facilitating “bite-sized” purchases of media. You can learn more about Coil here
  • Thomas McLeod, serial entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of Omni, who will soon integrate XRP as a currency into Omni’s marketplace
  • Bart and Brad Stephens, co-founders of Blockchain Capital, who have the first fund to accept capital calls in digital assets with a focus on driving innovation in the blockchain sector

The initiative is being spearheaded by former Director of the Facebook Developer Network, Ethan Beard, who served at the position from 2009 – 2012. Mr. Beard will be the Senior Vice President leading Xpring and Riipple’s developer program. At Facebook, he oversaw worldwide developer relations, operations and product marketing for the Facebook API. As it so happens, Ripple’s xVia is also API based, therefore this position should be a perfect fit for Mr. Beard who had this to say about the new role:

I love helping startups leverage new technologies and developments to grow. At Facebook, we saw companies in areas like gaming, music, and news use our platform to become big businesses. Blockchain and digital assets have the ability to solve important problems and XRP – with it’s speed, scalability and demonstrated real-world use case – is a great tool for startups and entrepreneurs to build businesses around.

Therefore, if there are any budding entrepreneurs reading this who are willing to use XRP products and do not know where to start, Xpring is for you 100%.

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Is A $1.053 Trillion Total Crypto Market Cap Possible after Consensus 2018?

The fourth annual blockchain technology summit known as Consensus by CoinDesk starts today, May 14th and will run up until the 16th. The 3 day summit will be held at the New York Hilton Midtown. The event will feature over 250 speakers and over 4,000 attendees from a variety of industries. They will include startups, investors, financial institutions, enterprise tech leaders, members of academia and policy groups; all building the much needed foundations for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

This year’s event is expected to shatter previous year’s records in terms of buzz and attendance. Last year the event had around 2,700 attendees, over 125 speakers, 80+ sponsors and participants from over 70 countries around the globe. The 2018 event is sure to double the 2017 numbers given the projections by the event organizers, Coindesk, who will be having the New York Economic Development Corporation, as a co host this time. Notable big companies expected at the event include Microsoft, IBM, Proctor and Gamble, Siemens, CME Ventures, Citi, Scotiabank, KPMG, PWC and many more.

On top of the event excitement, is the possibility of a repeat crypto-markets rally during the event that was also experienced last year. During the 2017 event, the Crypto-markets experienced a 27% gain in overall market capitalization value. This was a major leap when compared with the 2016 marketcap gain of only 2.7% during the event in 2016.

Many traders believe that Bitcoin reached the $2,000 mark last year because of the event. Consensus 2017 is also believed to have brought BTC to the media spotlight and catalyzed a market rally that saw the King of Crypto peaking at $20,000 on December 17th last year.

If the last percentage increment in the marketcap is to go by, the markets surge in 2017 increased by a factor of 10 in comparison to the surge in 2016. Does this mean that the 2018 event will cause a rally that will cause a 270% increment in the total market capitalization? This would mean that the crypto market would be valued at $1.053 Trillion by the end of the event and by using today’s total market cap of $390 Billion.

This might sound extreme and wishful thinking, but anything is possible in this crypto-verse.

What is your opinion on how the crypto markets will respond?

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Bull Run or Just Bull? Take CoinDesk's State of Blockchain Sentiment Survey

New all-time highs. Congestion on the blockchains and outages at exchanges. Breathless mainstream media coverage. The debut of institutional trading instruments. Oh, and digital cats.

The final quarter of 2017 offered no shortage of drama and cemented cryptocurrency’s status as the most interesting story in global finance and technology.

While the wild price action got most of the attention in Q4, several other events from the year will help shape the industry for a long time to come.

Ethereum’s Byzantium hard fork, bitcoin’s >1MB average block size, the rise of traffic on crypto-to-crypto and decentralized exchanges, and the collective shrug of the industry after China stopped all trading activity within its borders are just the start of a story that reads like a cyberpunk novel.

So, for CoinDesk’s forthcoming State of Blockchain 2017 report, we’re seeking to better understand how the blockchain community views these historic developments.

How obsessed are you with prices? What did you do with your gains? How closely do you follow the scaling debates? Which innovations have got you most excited? Do you think enterprise DLT will go live in 2018 after taking a back seat to the cryptocurrency boom in 2017?

If you have strong opinions on the state of the industry, make your voice heard by filling in the survey below.

As an alternative to the embedded survey, just click here.

The results of the survey will be analyzed and published in CoinDesk Research’s forthcoming State of Blockchain Q3 2017 report.

The leader in blockchain news, events and information, CoinDesk has been chronicling the technology since 2013. Cited by leading publications and trusted by businesses the world over, CoinDesk’s industry-leading, independent coverage is viewed by millions of readers monthly. Learn more about our brand here.

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A Note to CoinDesk Readers

At CoinDesk, we strive to provide a world-class user experience to our growing audience as part of our mission to inform, educate and convene the global blockchain community.

On Tuesday, we experienced technical difficulties that prevented us from publishing new content to CoinDesk.com for several hours. Our engineers worked tirelessly to fix the bug ASAP and existing content remained accessible to users. 

While we leveraged our social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Medium) to get the latest news out to our audience, we apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused on a particularly active day in the markets. Our ability to post stories has been restored and operations are back to normal.

Thank you for your continued readership and support.

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.

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Veteran Observer Tech Reporter Joins CoinDesk Editorial Team

Observer Media tech reporter Brady Dale has joined CoinDesk Inc., the leading digital media, events and information services company for the blockchain industry.

The newest addition to CoinDesk’s New York-based editorial team, Dale has previously covered new technologies at leading media brands including Fortune, Technical.ly and the Observer, where he emerged as an early voice in covering bitcoin and other crypto assets.

Dale’s hiring comes amid a wave of growth for CoinDesk (founded in 2013), that has seen it become one of the top websites globally amidst spiking interest in distributed ledger and blockchain-based innovations.

“Tech journalism led me to innovations at the edge, but I’m confident cryptocurrency and blockchain are here to stay,” Dale said.

At CoinDesk, Dale will focus on covering distributed technologies, initial coin offerings and other aspects of the emerging token economy.

Dale’s hiring follows the addition of other leading sector journalists to the CoinDesk team, including PaymentsSource veteran Bailey Reutzel as U.S. editor and former American Banker editor-in-chief Marc Hochstein as managing editor.

Looking ahead to 2017, CoinDesk is now seeking applications for full-time journalists in Europe and abroad.

The leader in blockchain news, events and information, CoinDesk has been chronicling the technology since 2013. Cited by leading publications and trusted by businesses the world over, CoinDesk’s industry-leading, independent coverage is viewed by millions of readers monthly. Learn more about our brand here.

Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as, and is not intended to provide, investment advice. Please conduct your own thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency.

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American Banker's Marc Hochstein Joins CoinDesk as Managing Editor

Outgoing American Banker editor-in-chief Marc Hochstein has joined CoinDesk Inc., the leading digital media, events and information services company for the blockchain industry.

A 17-year veteran of SourceMedia, Hochstein will serve as CoinDesk’s managing editor, a role in which he’ll be working alongside editor-in-chief Pete Rizzo and CoinDesk’s New York editorial team, while helping lead the media startup’s next phase of expansion.

At American Banker, Hochstein was responsible for some of the earliest mainstream coverage of bitcoin and the innovations it later inspired. His March 2014 feature article, “Why Bitcoin Matters for Bankers,” won a regional award from the American Society of Business Publishers and Editors and was a Neal award finalist.

His hiring comes amid a wave of growth for CoinDesk, founded in 2013, that has seen it become one of the top websites globally due to its dedication to chronicling the evolution of blockchain tech.

“I am honored and thrilled to join CoinDesk to build on the brand’s successes and take the platform to the next level,” Hochstein said. “Bitcoin, cryptocurrency and distributed ledger technology represent a fascinating new market with staggering long-term implications for the future of digital commerce, and CoinDesk has set the standard for editorial quality, sophistication and integrity in covering this rapidly evolving space.”

The move follows a string of hires for CoinDesk, which is rapidly investing to cement its status as the blockchain market’s leader in news, data and information.

Hochstein follows PaymentsSource veteran Bailey Reutzel and Roubini analyst Ash Bennington as the latest to join the company’s New York-based editorial team.

“With Marc’s expansive industry expertise, CoinDesk is poised to enter a new phase of growth, one in which it will truly be able to live up to its distinction as the world’s leading news and analysis website for blockchain,” Rizzo said.

For more information on open roles and opportunities at CoinDesk, visit our jobs board.

The leader in blockchain news, events and information, CoinDesk has been chronicling the technology since 2013. Cited by leading publications and trusted by businesses the world over, CoinDesk’s industry-leading, independent coverage is viewed by millions of readers monthly. Learn more about our brand here.