The first thing ever bought and sold on the internet was a bag of marijuana, and the trade took place over 40 years ago.
E-commerce, the practice of trading online has become a refined practice thanks mainly to sites such as Ebay and Amazon. But transactions online have been taking place for a very long time, and it’s much longer than most would think. To be precise, dope being the first thing bought and sold an the internet took place way back in 1971 or 1972.
Why was the first thing bought and sold on the internet a bag of marijuana?
Drug dealers, and those seeking their dubious products have always been on the lookout for new ways to avoid the eyes of the law. One of the most important factors of avoiding the long arm of the law is a reliable method of communication that can be kept secret. Clearly new forms of communication that are not well known by the authorities can give the criminals that edge. Unfortunately the criminals in this transaction just happened to be university students.
Students from Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory arranged drug deals with students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They used their Arpanet accounts, which was the worlds first network to implement TCP/IP, and would later go onto become the internet, to arrange the deals. These drug deals would unwittingly go down as the first things bought and sold on the internet.
Today there’s an abundance of drugs being sold online, both legal and illegal. It’s common place to see advertisements on some websites, and plenty of spam emails offering drugs of all descriptions. Unfortunately many of these drugs have been untested, and are being sold by unscrupulous drug dealers. The sellers of these drugs have absolutely no concern for the welfare of the purchases, only their own bank balances.
Although the students from Stanford and MIT didn’t know it at the time, they have spurned a worldwide trend that sees millions of dollars worth of drugs being traded every day online. It kind of makes the first use of a webcam a little dull in comparison.