IPv4 address trading sites begin to emerge

The depletion of the world's IPv4 address space is spawning a new development in the Internet address space: IPv4 address trading.

As reported in The Register, German Phython developer Martin von Loewis has launched a site called Tradipv4.com. The site is offering IPv4 addresses for $3 for v4 addresses located in ARIN (American Registry for Internet Numbers) and $4 for those in the APNIC (Asia Pacific Network Information Center) region.  

IPv4 address trading, however, is still very much a Wild Wild West concept right now. To ensure that unmanaged address transfers don't compromise network operations or security, the Internet Society (ISOC) said that buyers and sellers should make sure any "transfers be affected per appropriate RIR (Regional Internet Registry) processes."

Tradeip4.com says its auctions can cover both the sale and lease of addresses, subject to RIR policies. Some of these policies, the site notes, have grey areas. For example, APNIC policy aims to discourage address transfer by applying what amounts to a 12 month embargo on the originating party receiving new addresses. However, Tradeip4.com dismisses this as irrelevant, since APNIC's space is exhausted and no new blocks are being assigned.

Despite these concerns, Tradeip4.com, which can sell and lease IPv4 addresses, maintains that it is following RIR policies.

This is not just an upstart issue, however. Microsoft, for example, recently struck a deal to purchase Nortel's IPv4 addresses.

Craig Labovitz, Chief Scientist for network security vendor Arbor Networks, told FierceTelecom that Nortel's deal with Microsoft reflects how IPv4 depletion is becoming a more pressing issue because it's now a scarce resource.

"IPv4 addresses have not been a scarce resource and no one has had to pay more, but what really is starting to change is Microsoft spending money to buy Nortel's IPv4 address space," he said. "For the first time, there's now a price associated with V4, and one you have a price you start having providers charge for it and start seeing people having a reason to care."

For more:
- The Register has this article

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