IPv4 addresses are still popular these days and for a variety of reasons. Even though IPv6 addresses were meant to supplant them in the internet sphere, this has not yet happened fully, and the market for older addresses is still booming.
The Rise of the Ipv4 Address Market
ARIN announced in 2015 that the free pool of IPv4 addresses it held in its custody was exhausted. That has since driven the private market for the old addresses to much higher levels of activity than before. In the beginning, it was evident that many companies still required IPv4 addresses after those from ARIN had run out. Meeting this requirement was possible by turning to other companies which were looking to sell because they had additional IPv4 addresses in their custody.
Such private transactions had already started many years before IPv4 addresses at ARIN had run out. Although the private market itself existed prior to this, its size has grown considerably after the announcement. It is easy to see why there is a thriving transfer market for these addresses. Following is a look at what network managers and administrators have to know when trading in IPv4 addresses.
There is No Central Marketplace for the Addresses
Most segments have a marketplace where sellers and buyers come together to transact. For instance, one can sell company stock on NASDAQ or NYSE. However, if you wish to sell IPv4 address, there is no definite marketplace which can help you find a seller or buyer, which means there is no structured way for a buyer to seek out a seller.
Although ARIN did introduce transfer policies as well as regulations, this registry did not put in place rules or structures which could link buyers and sellers in a better way. As a consequence, this market was not efficient in the past. Over the years though, a group of brokers, intermediaries, and attorneys, having experience with IP address transactions, started to facilitate sales. Today, intermediaries make it a lot easier for sellers and buyers to find one another.
Some Buyers Dominate the IPv4 Market
In this space, most of the address purchases are made by a small number of buyers, many of whom are internet service providers, cloud computing vendors, and software companies. These companies primarily use the market in order to purchase IPv4 addresses with a goal of combining them with products and services which they offer to customers.
In contrast, most sellers will take part in just a few transactions, and they do not have the same kind of technical expertise or data which buyers have.