How to monetize your unused IPv4 addresses

For the longest time, 4.3 billion IPv4 addresses seemed more than enough to meet global needs. But now we face a problem that IPv6 can’t immediately solve. The global shortage of IP addresses that use the IPv4 protocol has spawned a new market where IP holders, such as businesses and organizations, are able to monetize and sell their unused IP addresses. This new market appeared after the IANA used up the last free /8 address block in 2011. 

The IPv4 protocol was introduced in September 1981 and served as the standard until 1999 when IPv6 was introduced. IPv4 has an inherent limitation in that it uses 32-bit addresses,

limiting the address space to 4294967296 (232) addresses. 

For decades, there was no need for the Internet community to think about the capacity of IPv4. In fact, the allocation of IP addresses in large numbers to organizations occurred without applying any reasonable distribution formula. 

However, that has all changed. The explosion of the global population, higher income per household as well as technological progress that gave us high Internet penetration, smartphones and other tech gadgets contributed to the depletion of available IP addresses.

Now there’s a shortage of free IPv4 addresses that IPv6 can’t compensate for fast enough. The issue with IPv6 is that it’s not directly interoperable with IPv4. Therefore, the IPv4 protocol cannot directly communicate with the IPv6 protocol. 

The deployment of IPv6 started in 2006, but it will take considerable time and requires intermediate transition technologies, such as IPv4-mapped IPv6 addresses, IPv6 tunneling, and automatic ‘6to4’ mapping for hosts to communicate with each other using both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols. 

With the introduction of IPv6, many security issues were addressed and with considerably better performance than that of IPv4. Nevertheless, IPv4 still routes most Internet traffic today, despite the ongoing deployment of its successor.

IPv6 is growing, there’s no denying that, but not as rapidly as we continue to hear about the costs and challenges of its implementation. Currently, the IPv6 adoption rate worldwide is just over 30%, and so both protocols exist alongside each other. One day, the entire web will move across to IPv6, but it won’t happen anytime soon. In the meantime, IPv4 owners have an incredible opportunity.
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The New IP Address Market

The challenges associated with implementing IPv6 and the rapid exhaustion of free IPv4 addresses have prompted RIRs to encourage the IP trading market. Indeed, IPv4 addresses have become a tradable commodity. This has given rise to the IPv4 market where IP holders lease and sell addresses to other businesses, such as Internet Service Providers (ISPs), IP transit providers, ad networks, and Business Intelligence (BI) companies whose businesses rely on the supply of IPv4 addresses.

As previously mentioned, there are 4.3 billion IPv4 addresses, and there can’t be more than that. So, as with any other limited resource, IP addresses derive their value based on their limited supply and demand. Today, IPv4 prices are higher than ever before. 

Our research has shown that today’s prices per IP address range from $18 to $25, and the prices have increased from 25% to 30% depending on the subnetwork size. Industry experts predict that IP prices could rise to $35 per address in the not so distant future.

The slow implementation of IPv6 means that IPv4 has long-term value and is of great significance to data-driven businesses that want to increase their global presence. Therefore, the current situation is an opportunity for IP address holders. Your organization can benefit monetarily by leasing its unused IPv4 addresses on an IP address market.

How you can monetize your IPv4 addresses

If you are looking to monetize your unused IP addresses, you can do that on Heficed’s IP Address Market, where you can make them available for lease to other companies. You can easily upload the IP addresses to the platform and monetize them in minutes. You can import subnets via LOA or ROA and set the subnet price. You can then track how your assets are doing and get monthly payouts to your bank or PayPal account.

Heficed’s IP Address Market is a unique solution. From its humble beginnings, it has grown to be so much more advanced. Any chance of IP hijacking has been eliminated as all IP holders have to go through a rigorous validation process before they can bring in their IPs. 

The platform now features a substantially improved payout section for IP holders that gives detailed reports on the monetization performance. Furthermore, IP holders can bring their IPs and use them on Heficed’s infrastructure stack, but they don’t have to monetize them if they don’t want to.

Additionally, considering IP lessees’ long-term commitments, IP lessors can automatically recalculate the prices of IPs listed for more than 12 months. Lastly, Heficed now has a Make an Offer option, which allows IP lessees to offer their price to the IP lessor, and the lessor can choose to take or reject the offer. 

Many more great things are planned for the IP Address Market, which have been outlined in Heficed’s roadmap. The company has set out to dedicate all of 2020 to improve the platform.