Cryptocurrency 

Bitcoin’s Early Days: Reporter Recalls $200K Sushi Dinner After Spending 10 BTC, Former Bitcoin Dev Sells 55,000 BTC for Under $30 a Coin

As bitcoin touched an all-time price high this week, the tech reporter at the New York Times, Kashmir Hill, recalled how she spent 10 BTC ($224k) for a sushi dinner for a couple of dozen strangers. Hill wrote about the dining experience in a recent article called “How I Blew My Bitcoin on Sushi: My $200,000 Sushi Dinner.” Additionally, the early bitcoiner Martti Malmi wrote about how he sold 55,000 BTC which would now be worth over $1.2 billion.

Journalist Spends 10 BTC on a Sushi Dinner With Strangers in 2013

The price of bitcoin (BTC) has climbed to new price heights this past week and a few people have been writing about spending coins in the early days.

For instance, the well known New York Times (NYT) tech columnist Kashmir Hill recently wrote about her experience living on bitcoins for a whole week in 2013. Hill said she spent $136 per coin on Coinbase at the time, and one evening spent 10 BTC ($224k) on a sushi dinner.

“Back in May 2013, I spent in one night what would be worth approximately $200,000 today on raw fish and shrimp tempura rolls for people I had just met,” Hill said of her week-long crypto experience.

“I was a reporter at Forbes magazine at the time covering technology and privacy. Bitcoin had come on my radar as a privacy-protective technology allowing people to make anonymous online purchases, kind of like paying cash in the real world.”

Bitcoin’s Early Days: Reporter Recalls $200K Sushi Dinner After Spending 10 BTC, Former Bitcoin Dev Sells 55,000 BTC for Under $30 a Coin
NYT reporter Kashmir Hill spent 10 BTC on a sushi dinner at a restaurant called the Sake Zone. Because he accepted bitcoin (BTC) back in the early days, Sake Zone owner Yung Chen managed to retire after collecting 41 BTC over the years.

On the very last night of her week-long bitcoin spending spree, she decided to celebrate by having a sushi dinner at a place called the Sake Zone. She opened an invitation to complete strangers on Reddit and booked a table for 15 or more at Yung Chen’s Sake Zone.

Then years later after the spending experiment in 2020, Hill called the restaurant’s owner Yung Chen to see how he was doing. Thanks to his merchant acceptance at the time including Hill’s 10 BTC dinner, Chen managed to acquire around 41 BTC ($923,000). Chen and his wife decided to retire after being “tired of the long hours,” Hill wrote.

Sake Zone owner Yung Chen said:

The Bitcoin has become one of the major saving assets in my portfolio. It’s a lot. It’s close to like a half-million dollars in my account.

Martti Malmi: ‘I’d Be a Billionaire Now if I Hadn’t Sold the 55,000 Bitcoins I Mined’

In another story, the early bitcoiner Martti Malmi recalled this week how he would have been a billionaire if he didn’t sell 55k BTC back in the day. Malmi was a Bitcoin developer between 2009 and 2011.

“I’d be a *billionaire* now if I hadn’t sold the 55,000 bitcoins I mined on my laptop in 2009-2010 way too early (mostly before 2012),” Malmi tweeted on Friday. “That is regretful, but then again, with the early bitcoiners we set in motion something greater than personal gain,” he added.

Bitcoin’s Early Days: Reporter Recalls $200K Sushi Dinner After Spending 10 BTC, Former Bitcoin Dev Sells 55,000 BTC for Under $30 a Coin
Early bitcoiner Martti Malmi was Bitcoin software developer between 2009 and 2011. This week Malmi recalled spending 55k BTC and if he hadn’t spent the coins he’d be a billionaire today. Malmi was able to snag a nice studio apartment in 2011 with some of his bitcoins.

Malmi also remembered how he ran a bitcoin exchange for a while in 2010. “At the time, there was no established exchange rate, and I operated it more like a bitcoin faucet than a business, ending up with 30,000 BTC less,” Malmi said. The early bitcoin proponent said that he did get a bit more than just two Papa John’s pizzas.

Malmi further tweeted:

In 2011 when the exchange rate peaked at $15-$30, I sold over 10,000 BTC to buy a fairly comfortable studio apartment near Helsinki. Big deal for a 22-year-old who never had much money. Probably the most expensive studio in the world now, but at least I got more than 2 pizzas.

Malmi recalled a time in 2011 when he offered a 1,000 BTC bounty for “getting a major business to accept bitcoin,” and said it was never claimed. After he decided to hold his BTC but then had to sell most at “a bad rate (~$5) in 2012 when finding a new job took longer than expected.” The early adopter said that he’s kept “varying amount of savings in BTC” and he’s happy about the recent price development.

“Thank you, Satoshi and others who have made Bitcoin what it is today,” Malmi concluded. “May it bring peace and prosperity to the world. Long live Bitcoin.”

What do you think about Kashmir Hill’s $200k sushi dinner and Martti Malmi selling 55k bitcoin for extremely low prices? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

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Early Days,
Former Developer,
Kashmir Hill,
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shrimp tempura rolls,
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sushi dinner,
tech reporter,
Yung Chen

Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, Twitter, @marttimalmi,

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