The Role of IPv4 Broker in the IP Address Market Explained

5 min read
26 July 2022
Vincentas Grinius

What is an IP address broker? What is their role in selling and buying IPs? How can you acquire IP resources quicker and cheaper without IP brokers? Continue reading to learn all about this.

An IP broker next to a Terms of Service agreement, a lock and a key.

Due to the exhaustion of valuable IP addresses (Internet Protocol addresses), businesses and organizations look for new ways to obtain these resources. They might turn to IP brokers, or traders, who offer IP brokerage services to help businesses sell IPv4 addresses or buy IPv4 addresses. Why? Because an IPv4 broker might offer the best deal when selling or purchasing IP addresses.

But how exactly does an IPv4 trader operate? What do they do to support the acquisition of the necessary assets? Are there other industry players that can help obtain IPv4 addresses under better conditions?

What is an IPv4 broker, and what do IP brokerage services offer?

An IPv4 broker is a third party that acts as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of IPv4 addresses. Their job is to facilitate IPv4 address transfers and ensure a successful transaction every time. 

IPv4 brokerages have been around for over a decade now. Pretty much since the global depletion of the limited address space of 4.29 billion IPs in 2011. This was also when the first big IP sale was organized, and Microsoft bought IPs worth $7.5 million from Nortel

Of course, an IPv4 broker does more than handle transactions. Let’s discuss what an IP broker does exactly.

Simplifying the process of buying IP addresses

IPv4 brokers optimize the purchase of IPv4 addresses. How? First, they develop strong relationships with Regional Internet Registries (RIRs). More specifically, IPv4 traders facilitate the transfer process by contacting a relevant RIR on behalf of their clients and preparing all the necessary documentation. 

This is helpful to most companies that simply do not have the time to communicate with RIRs and analyze the requirements and policies relating to the transfer process. IPv4 agents familiar with the intricacies of an IP transfer procedure can promptly prepare purchase agreements and other documents, thereby saving time for both parties – the seller and the buyer.

Brokers also contact RIRs on behalf of their clients to get the approval that they are eligible to either sell or buy. That is because IP holders may need to verify their holdership of the address space. While buyers may need to justify their need for IPv4 address blocks. 

Furthermore, as intermediaries, brokers assist in establishing transparent payment terms and ensuring secure money transfers. As a result, buyers can be sure that their transactions are quick and efficient.

IPv4 addresses in a shopping cart surrounded by gold coins.
IP brokers facilitate IPv4 selling and buying

Of course, brokers charge buyers and sellers a brokerage fee for each successful commercial transaction. Therefore, the parties involved in the trade should consider additional expenses on top of the actual IPv4 price. The brokerage fee, naturally, varies from firm to firm.

RIR support and verification of IPv4 addresses

IPv4 traders may be able to transfer the IPv4 address space in all five RIRs that provide services in every geographical region of the world:

  • AFRINIC – African Network Information Center
  • ARIN – American Registry for Internet Numbers 
  • RIPE NCC – Réseaux IP Européens Network Coordination Center
  • LACNIC – Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Center 
  • APNIC – Asia Pacific Network Information Center

Communication with all RIRs may allow brokers to sell resources from different geographical locations and have partners all over the world. Simultaneously, this allows the registered brokers to analyze the global IPv4 price trends and offer fair prices to clients who may not have the time to perform their own investigations.

Unfortunately, unverified intermediaries operating in the black market may attempt to sell the IPv4 address space at an unreasonable cost. Therefore, buyers may not get the best prices and overpay for the assets. Ultimately, if you wish to sell or buy IPs, make sure you choose a trustworthy broker.

Needless to say, IPv4 addresses must be verified before they are placed on the market. Registered IPv4 brokers utilize IP blocklists to check the IPv4 address blocks put up for sale to ensure that these addresses are clean and ready to be used. This benefits all sellers who may not even be aware that their unused resources could be abused.

IP reputation is equally as important for those who want to buy the resources to scale their networks. The purchasing parties should consider choosing a trader that thoroughly screens IP holders and their resources.

IP address security expert looking at a computer screen monitoring IP reputation.
IP address reputation monitoring

Are IPv4 brokers the only players in the industry?

IPv4 brokers facilitate buying and selling the IPv4 address space. However, not everyone knows that there are other options besides buying or selling. IP leasing is a service that enables companies to access the IPv4 addresses they need in a faster and more cost-efficient way.

IPXO – Internet Protocol Exchange Organization – introduces an automated IP lease and monetization platform for businesses from every industry, including hosting, telcos, IoT and cybersecurity. While those with a large inventory of unused IPv4 addresses can put them on the Marketplace for monetization, companies in need of IPs can lease them quickly and fuss-free at competitive prices.

Undeniably, leasing IP addresses is a simpler process compared to transferring IP addresses. Clients can register at the IPXO Portal and start leasing or monetizing almost immediately. Also, leasing is conducted in a completely transparent manner, and there are no hidden fees when joining. Not to mention that you might not even need to contact your region-specific RIR to lease IPs, which surely can save a lot of time.

Besides, the IPXO Marketplace offers the IPv4 address space from all Regional Internet Registries. This means that IP lessees can gain access to a large inventory of IPv4 addresses from any geolocation. 

On top of all that, our well-established automated platform helps us efficiently handle millions of IPv4 addresses. For example, automated blocklist scanning helps our highly experienced Abuse Prevention team to ensure that the IPv4 address space is safe to use in any business network.

How to lease IPv4 for top results

Your ultimate guide to IPv4 lease for IP lessees!

To sell/buy or to lease: That is the question

The global depletion of IPv4 addresses has influenced the rise of solutions and services that involve buying and selling IP resources. IPv4 brokers connect businesses from all over the world – those who want to buy IPv4 addresses and those who wish to sell their assets.

But an IPv4 broker only sells and buys IPv4 addresses. On the flip side, companies like IPXO can help lease the IP address space and expand any company’s infrastructure in a cost-efficient and sustainable way.

IP leasing is an easier and quicker process than IP transferring, which allows you to utilize IPv4 addresses on any network almost immediately. If you were to lease, you could utilize IPs in a couple of days, whereas it could take weeks if you chose to buy/sell IPs and transfer the holder’s rights. The best part is that quick provisioning is just one among the benefits of IP leasing.

Do you have dormant assets to spare? Join the IPXO Marketplace, lease IPs and unlock a new revenue stream. Perhaps you need IPs to scale? The Marketplace can offer the freedom to expand your business quickly at a low upfront cost.

If you are interested in the leasing or monetization process, book a demo, and our team will answer all of your questions.

About the author

Vincentas Grinius


Vincentas is a business-driven geek with over 15+ years of network, infrastructure and internet policy experience. As a CEO at IPXO, the Internet Protocol platform, Vincentas focuses on helping address complex network management issues and the global IPv4 shortage.
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