The first internet domain was registered back in 1985. It might be difficult to believe, but back then, many folks weren't convinced of its use, and indeed it wasn't until a decade later, in the mid-nineties, when the net really started to take off.
Nowadays, any prediction involving the internet generally involves stratospheric growth, as witnessed in the latest piece of research on the net economy from the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Come 2016, the internet economy will be worth no less than $4.2 trillion among the G20 nations. And the UK could be set to do very well out of that, given that earlier this week the BCG pegged the country at a G20-leading 8.3 per cent of its economy coming from the internet.
BCG estimates that the UK's internet economy will be worth £220 billion by 2016.
Currently, the value of the global internet economy is estimated at $2.3 trillion, so it will nearly double up in just four years if it's to reach that $4.2 trillion prediction. If the internet was a nation, that would put it in the top five national economies, ahead of Germany and behind only the US, China, Japan and India.
According to Bloomberg, the BCG study indicated that 21 per cent of Americans questioned would give up sex to stay online, and two-thirds would forego their daily coffee(s). All this underlines the importance of the online economy, and online shopping for consumers today.
Dominic Field, one of the authors of the study at BCG, stated: "The Internet has become like electricity or water." Rather aptly, as when combined those two entities will also produce a shocking prediction.