Table of Contents
The IPv4 Marketplace is a thriving secondary platform. Here, brokers play a pivotal role, acting as intermediaries between IPv4 sellers and businesses seeking these addresses.
Background: The Rise of the IPv4 Marketplace
The rapid global expansion of the internet led to an impending exhaustion of the IPv4 address space. In response, a secondary market organically emerged, allowing buyers and sellers to bid for IPv4 addresses on trusted exchange platforms, such as IPv4.deals. RIRs (Regional Internet Registries) have since established policies to regulate these transfers.
IPv4 vs. IPv6: The Dilemma
Many companies are hesitant to transition fully to IPv6 due to compatibility issues with existing infrastructure, the widespread use of IPv4, and the associated costs of making the switch.
Key Facts about the IPv4 Market:
- IPv4 Exhaustion:
- RIPE NCC, responsible for Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Central Asia, announced its IPv4 exhaustion in November 2019.
- ARIN, which serves the U.S., Canada, and several Caribbean countries, reached its IPv4 exhaustion in September 2015.
- APNIC, serving the Asia-Pacific region, reached its first phase of exhaustion in April 2011.
- LACNIC, responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean, announced its exhaustion in June 2014.
- AFRINIC, serving Africa, is the only RIR that has not yet reached IPv4 exhaustion, but it’s anticipated to do so in the near future.
- Secondary Market Growth:
- The secondary market for IPv4 addresses has seen significant growth due to the exhaustion of addresses from RIRs. This market allows organizations with surplus addresses to sell them to those in need.
- Price Fluctuations:
- The price of IPv4 addresses in the secondary market has fluctuated over the years, influenced by supply and demand, regional needs, and the gradual adoption of IPv6.
- IPv6 Adoption:
- Despite the exhaustion of IPv4, the global adoption rate of IPv6 is still growing slowly. As of early 2022, global IPv6 adoption was around 30%, with variations by country and region.
- NAT (Network Address Translation):
- To cope with the shortage of IPv4 addresses, many organizations use NAT to allow multiple devices within a private network to share a single public IP address.
Who Needs to Purchase IP Blocks?
- VPN Service Providers: These businesses require a diverse range of IP addresses to assign to their users and ensure anonymity and accessibility.
- Web Hosting Companies and Data Centers: Entities that host websites, applications, or other services for clients need a substantial pool of IP addresses to accommodate their offerings.
- Online Gaming or Gambling Platforms: These platforms, especially those with a global presence, require unique IP addresses for various servers and to provide stable connections for users.
- IoT Device Manufacturers: As the IoT ecosystem expands, there’s a growing need for IP addresses, especially for devices that connect directly to the internet.
- Large-scale Online Service Providers: Businesses that offer online services to a vast user base, like streaming platforms or cloud service providers, would need a significant number of IP addresses to support their infrastructure.
The Future of IPv4
The internet continues to grow at an unprecedented rate, with new users joining every minute. While transitioning entirely from IPv4 to IPv6 is seen as the future, it’s a challenging endeavor. Many devices and systems are still only compatible with IPv4, and a complete shift would require extensive changes in both hardware and software.