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A brief history of e-commerce (up to the crypto revolution)

rypto payments, pioneered by Exeno, are the latest innovation with the potential to have sweeping effects on e-commerce. To comprehend the magnitude of this change, one needs to understand the history of the industry.

Crypto revolutions

Indeed, the first e-commerce customers would find direct cryptocurrency payments, as used on, unimaginable and reminiscent of science-fiction novels. 40 years have passed since then, and they are now a universally accessible alternative to conventional payments. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and have a look at how it all started!

1969: CompuServe is founded

CompuServe, founded by Jeffrey Wilkins and Dr. John R. Goltz in the US, is widely recognised as the world’s first e-commerce company. It specialised in providing computer sharing services to businesses by sending data through dial-up connections (phone lines). By the 1980s, CompuServe has embraced e-mail and internet connectivity, both in their early form.

1979: Electronic shopping is invented by Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich, an English inventor and entrepreneur, is responsible for introducing one of the foundation stones of e-commerce: online transaction processing between businesses and customers. He achieved this by connecting a modified television set to a transaction-processing computer via a telephone line. This gave viewers the ability to call a dedicated processing centre and place orders for items as seen on TV.

1982: The launch of Boston Computer Exchange 

Boston Computer Exchange specialised in selling used computers via what resembled an online marketplace. The company published listings on a publicly accessible Delphi bulletin board, a system that allowed users to upload and download data from the server.

1990: WorldWideWeb enters the scene

The launch of WorldWideWeb was a true revolution for e-commerce. It enabled online shopping as we know today. 

1995: Early days of Amazon

Now a global e-commerce giant, Amazon started more humbly: as the world’s first e-shop for books. Within a month, Amazon was shipping books to not only all 50 US states but also 45 other countries.

1998: PayPal, the first e-commerce payment system

Originally known as Confinity, PayPal was the first e-commerce business specialising in money transfers. It surged in popularity after 2000 it was merged with Elon Musk’s online banking company. 

2004: The launch of Shopify 

In 2004, Tobias Lutke and Scott set their eyes on launching an online snowboard gear store. After growing frustrated with existing software, they launched Shopify, a product designed to help small businesses enter the world of e-commerce.

2009: Bitcoin enters circulation

After the 2008 financial crisis, the world needed an alternative to the existing unstable financial systems. In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto created the now well-known Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency. The project aimed to create a new international and decentralised payment solution that would operate without involvement of any third parties, like banks or governments.

2011: Introduction of Google Wallet 

Google Wallet was launched as a money transfer service allowing users to pay with their cell phone or PC. The premise was simple: a special digital wallet was linked to the user’s credit or debit card. After merging with Android Pay, Google Wallet has been rebranded as Google Pay.

2014: Apple Pay follows

Following the trend of using mobile devices for making payments, Apple introduced its own payment system: Apple Pay.

2020: Exeno redefines online payments

As people have become accustomed to using both online payments and cryptocurrencies, there’s a clear need for a solution that combines the two! In 2020, Exeno launched a platform enabling its customers to shop for products from leading brands with direct crypto payment, using some of the most popular cryptos: BTC, ETH, BTCV and USDT. 

Exeno’s mission is to make cryptocurrency a more mainstream payment option and introduce more people to the speed and convenience it offers. 


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