It was on 15th March 1985 when the first .com domain name was registered by Massachusetts computer systems firm Symbolics.

Although didn’t spark a domain name gold rush, the event planted the first seed of a transformation that has changed the world into a Web-fueled digital river of news, commerce and social interaction.

VeriSign, the Internet security retailer that controls the .com registry, is hosting an event celebrating the milestone, with former US President Bill Clinton booked to deliver a keynote speech.

In 1985, only six organisations registered a .com, one of six top-level domain names created a year earlier in the reorganisation of the Internet’s naming bureaucracy. At one stage , .cor (short for corporate) almost beat .com as the designation for commercial Internet addresses.

Since then, .coms have defined the Internet. Now there are 84 million domain names, including 11.9 million e-commerce and online business sites, 4.3 million entertainment sites, 3.1 million finance-related sites and 1.8 million sports sites.

According to a study released today by the Information Technology & Information Foundation, the annual economic benefits of the commercial Internet equal $1.5 trillion, which is “more than the global sales of medicine, investment in renewable energy and government investment in R&D (research and development) combined.”

The Internet should add $3.8 trillion to the global economy by 2020, which would exceed the gross domestic product of Germany, the report said. An estimated 1.7 billion people, 25.6 percent of the world’s population, now use the Internet.

First 10 .com domains – March 15, 1985 – April 24, 1985 – May 24, 1985 – July 11, 1985 – Sept. 30, 1985 – Nov. 7, 1985 – Jan. 9, 1986 – Jan. 17, 1986 – March 3, 1986 – March 5, 1986