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Buying, selling, and now…leasing IP addresses?

We appreciate when things we need can be done or gotten in an efficient way, which is why there are so many things that we can lease. From your own kitchens, trucks, or storage space, leasing is a solution to quite a lot of people’s problems, you can pretty much lease any and everything. People who need a specific thing can find someone online willing to lease that thing or space, and the person who is leasing out their things or spaces gets a sort of passive income. Another item to add to the ever-growing list of things people can lease is IP addresses.

The exhaustion of IPv4

If a device needs to connect to the internet, it needs an IP address. Every device’s IP address is completely unique. Since the 1980s the Regional Internet Registry (RIR) has distributed Internet Protocol 4, or IPv4, to the world. This IP address has been the only way to connect to any available network, and a little over 4 billion was distributed, this seemed to be quite enough for the world. Until in recent years it’s been realized that all of those 4 billion IPv4 addresses have been fully given out, completely exhausted. 

Organizations that were tech-based fell into trouble because there was not enough IPv4 address space for more devices to connect to the internet. The consequence of this was organizations, big or small, looking for people willing to sell their IPv4 address spaces, and so the market for IPv4 was born. As the market heats up the prices get a bit higher and now there is a steady incline in the prices for IPv4 address space, additionally, the process of transferring ownership of IPv4 addresses and the rules of it all proved very complicated and time-consuming. This is why leasing became an alternative.

Leasing IPv4 addresses

The exhaustion of IPv4 addresses has been anticipated, and a solution has been brought forward, that solution is IPv6. There are trillions upon trillions of IPv6 addresses which will last us over 400 years, though its complete implementation isn’t as simple as IPv4. Transitioning into IPv6 will take quite a bit of time and energy to do properly. A way to do so is by using the IPv4 address space to bridge the gap. Because we are in the midst of this transition, people don’t want to buy bulks of IPv4 address space when soon we’ll be using IPv6. So going through the complications of buying IPv4 would be unnecessary. 

This is why people prefer to lease IPv4 address space instead. There would be fewer complications and once the transition to IPv6 is complete, they can terminate their leasing contract and not be responsible for what happens to the IPv4.

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