Local College Student Made Internet History in 1994 with First Online Credit-Card Transaction

Dan Kohn

A Swarthmore College student named Dan Kohn changed history on Aug. 11, 1994 with the world’s first secure credit-card transaction online for a physical good, writes Rob Arcand for Vice.com.

Kohn 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 the disc by mail a few weeks later.

“It was just such a mind-blowing experience,” Kohn said. 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 e-mail and read updates on the early web forum Usenet. That first online sale led to him creating NetMarket, an online marketplace, in 1994.

Read more about Dan Kohn at Vice.com here.

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