How Old Is E-Commerce?

from the how-do-you-define-when-it-started dept

According to, we’re officially at the 10-year anniversary of electronic commerce, as defined by the first secure transaction on NetMarket, on August 11, 1994. The folks at the Internet Shopping Network disagree, claiming they started a few months earlier. Of course, it all depends on how you define “e-commerce.” This article seems to define it as a secure, web-based transaction. However, even before these started showing up, I remember purchasing CDs from CDNow and CDConnection using telnet in either 1993 or early 1994, and I’m sure plenty of others could make claims to earlier “online” purchases. It certainly wasn’t secure, but who was worried about security back then? Of course, it doesn’t really matter when e-commerce really started, but it is amusing that no one seems to remember those pre-web offerings.

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