A Swarthmore College kid named Dan Kohn changed history forever on Aug. 11, 1994 with the world’s first secure credit card transaction on line for a physical good, writes Rob Arcand for vice.com.
He sold a CD copy of Sting’s 1993 album “Ten Summoner’s Tales” to a friend in Philadelphia who, for $12.48 plus shipping, received a copy of the disc by mail a few weeks later.
“It was just such a mind-blowing experience,” Kohn says. At the time, the number of websites was “in the dozens,” and few people thought the internet had any use for financial exchange.
The idea came to him while studying abroad at the London School of Economics, where he was able to remotely connect to his Swarthmore computer to check his email and read updates on the early web forum Usenet. That first online sale led to him creating NetMarket, an online market place, in 1994.
As far back as 1971, students at Stanford and MIT were using the pre-WWW ARPANET to sell pot across the country and a 74-year-old British woman used an early internet connection to buy groceries, but in those cases, cash was exchanged in person.
Read more about Dan Kohn here.