Despite the fact that IPv6 was launched nearly six years ago, the demand for IPv4 blocks is still at an all-time high. Why is this the case?
Logically speaking, the release of IPv6 should’ve outright made IPv4 addresses obsolete and worthless, yet, here we are, three months away from IPv6’s 6-year anniversary and there is still a huge market for IPv4 blocks.
What is IPv4?
IPv4 stands for Internet Protocol version 4. It is the technology that allows us to connect our devices to the worldwide web. Whenever your smartphone, laptop or tablet accesses the internet, it is assigned a unique, numerical IP address such as 192.0.2.1 for example.
To be able to send information from one computer to another through the web, a data packet must be transferred across the network containing the IP addresses of both the transmitting and the receiving devices.
Isn’t IPv6 faster, cheaper, and better in every way?
Contrary to popular belief, IPv4 and IPv6 have very similar speeds, and any variations are too marginal to worry about.
As you can see in the linked study, most IPv4-IPv6 performance comparisons end in a tie. Any differences are far too minute for the human brain to notice.
Why IPv4 blocks are so valuable
Like most commodities, the value of IPv4 blocks are determined by supply and demand. The De Beers monopolized the diamond industry by limiting the supply which allowed them to increase the value to a point much higher than it would normally be at.
Unlike oil, IP addresses are not consumable, and can therefore change hands multiple times. This allows it to function similar to a gold bar — a security that you can sell at any time — which makes it rather liquid.
IPv4 supply vs. IPv6 supply
IPv4 utilizes 32-bit internet addresses. That means that it can only support around four billion unique IPs — all of which have already been assigned.
In contrast, IPv6 utilizes 128-bit addresses, meaning it can support a whopping three hundred and forty undecillion, two hundred and eighty-two decillion, three hundred and sixty-six nonillion, nine hundred and twenty octillion, nine hundred and thirty-eight septillion, four hundred and sixty-three sextillion, four hundred and sixty-three quintillion, three hundred and seventy-four quadrillion, six hundred and seven trillion, four hundred and thirty-one billion, seven hundred and sixty-eight million, two hundred and eleven thousand, four hundred and fifty-six addresses. (Source: Wikipedia)
That large capacity might sound impressive, but — from a financial standpoint, anyway — it really drives the value of IPv6 blocks down as there is way too much supply and not enough demand.
Where does one buy or sell an IPv4 block?
Buyers can’t keep their hands off of IPv4 blocks. Luckily for them, there’s no shortage of outlets to buy from.
With such a high demand and finite supply, brokers are the go-to source for most buyers.
For those who enjoy getting into bidding wars, there are also numerous daily actions for IPv4 blocks.
To avoid scams, its best to purchase your blocks from a reputable source like IPv4 Brokers.
IPv4 Brokers allows you to buy, sell, and lease with ease.
With IPv4’s value and scarcity only increasing, it’s likely that people will be trading IPv4 blocks for years and years to come.