The Real Beauty of the Market Approach
The real beauty of a market approach is that it could accelerate IPv6 adoption; in fact, I would expect it to. The scarcer IPv4 addresses are, the more expensive they will become. The more expensive they are, the greater the incentive to be done with the problem altogether and pay the prices to move to IPv6. If the price isn't so high that users feel it's worth adopting IPv6, then maybe we can get along with a market-limited pool, but I doubt it. I think a market will help enterprises and ISPs see the value of adopting IPv6. There is a significant issue of equity between the different world regions. For many years addresses have been allocated through the RIRs, which have a lot of autonomy. But the Internet was dominated by the United States for so long that a huge percentage of the addresses are here. Therefore, it's argued, the market should allow for transfers between the regions, and in principle I agree, although I've been told it creates technical problems.I have to admit I'm the sort who's inclined toward market solutions anyway, so a consensus that such is the best approach toward the impending IP address crisis strokes me in the right way. Maybe I'm too enamored of it to be objective. But I've read a lot and written some myself on this subject, and I've never heard any solution that sounded remotely practical that didn't involve a market. Nothing else makes sense. Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. For insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at eWEEK.com Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer's blog Cheap Hack.
There are lots of problems with setting up such a market. For instance, the rules in the different RIRs are different for who can buy an address block, how to transfer them, what the fees are and so on. It's reasonable for there to be rules and fees, but they will have to be uniform or at least consistent for a market to function well. This is the biggest reason to doubt a market will develop, since the RIRs will, out of necessity, lose autonomy in a market solution. They will fight it.