In the fast-paced world of the internet, the demand for IP addresses has never been higher. With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G technology, and the proliferation of online services, the scarcity of IPv4 addresses has led to a thriving market for these valuable resources. IPTrading always keeps its finger on the pulse of the IPv4 market, and we will explore the factors that influence the market value of IPv4 addresses, shedding light on the complexities that govern this dynamic landscape.

Factors that Influence IPv4 Price

  • IPv4 Exhaustion

The only reason IPv4 addresses have value is due to the exhaustion of free IPv4 address space. The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) allocated the last IPv4 address blocks to Regional Internet Registries (RIRs) in 2011. Since then, all RIRs except AFRINIC have run out of free space, and can assign only returned or reclaimed space.  Since the RIRs can no longer allocate free space, IPv4 has become a commodity, and can be transferred from those that have it but no longer need it, to those who need it but do not have it.

  • Supply and Demand

Like any other commodity, supply and demand is the largest influence.  Prices continually marched upwards 10 to 20 percent per year until 2021, when supply dwindled, and prices doubled.  Then demand disappeared, and prices have retreated.  Demand has not quite reached the pre-2021 level, but is becoming more active as prices have retreated.

  • Regional Disparities

Though most RIRs allow inter-regional transfers, the market value of IPv4 addresses varies somewhat based on geographic regions. Some regions may experience higher demand due to rapid technological growth and increased internet penetration, while others may have a relatively surplus IPv4 address space, leading to lower prices.

Moreover, RIR policies regarding IP address transfers can impact regional market dynamics. Before you begin buying and selling IPv4, you may want to learn more about the different rules and regulations within each region.

  • IPv6 Adoption

IPv6, the next-generation internet protocol, offers an expansive address space, effectively eliminating the problem of IPv4 address exhaustion.

However, the slow adoption of IPv6 by businesses and ISPs has prolonged the need for IPv4 addresses. If the transition to IPv6 begins to gain momentum, the market value of IPv4 addresses may be affected, potentially leading to fluctuations in prices.

  • Technical Requirements

Certain businesses, especially those in the technology and hosting industries, may have specific technical requirements that necessitate the use of IPv4 addresses. Legacy systems, software limitations, or compatibility issues with certain applications might drive organizations to seek IPv4 addresses, further fueling demand and affecting market prices.

While the transition to IPv6 is inevitable, the IPv4 address market is expected to persist for some time. As businesses and individuals navigate the complexities of IPv4 address pricing, understanding these factors will be key to making informed decisions and optimizing their internet infrastructure in the face of ever-changing technologies and demands.