9 August 2022 | 5 min read | Vincentas Grinius
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Selling IPv4 Addresses? Here Are 3 Things To Consider First

Unused IPv4 resources can be sold, but is that the best option? Learn about three critical pain points you should consider before making the final decision.

Two people making an IPv4 sale deal and shaking hands.

Do you have Internet Protocol addresses to spare and wish to sell them to receive additional income? You can quickly give away your Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) address blocks and take the money. But is that the best option? There are a few things to consider before selling IPv4 addresses.

Let’s discuss why we have the demand for valuable IPv4 addresses, what obstacles you may face if you sell IPv4 and what alternatives exist.

Why is there a demand for IPv4 addresses?

When the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) introduced IPv4 in 1981, the engineers believed that 4.29 billion IP addresses would be enough to support the online world. However, the number of internet-connected devices and networks exploded in the 1990s, resulting in the rapid exhaustion of IPv4 addresses.

Another problem is that what should have been the solution to the scarcity of IPv4 addresses – Internet Protocol version 6, or IPv6, addresses – has not offered much relief so far. This is not surprising as technical limitations and huge implementation costs still limit wide-scale IPv6 adoption.

So, how can a business acquire IPv4 blocks needed for its growing network? The high demand for IPv4 addresses influenced the rise of the secondary market, in which IP brokers, or IP traders, support the IPv4 address sale process.

In other words, a reputable broker finds potential buyers and helps companies sell IPv4 addresses at the best market price in a transparent way, without hidden fees or obscure conditions. Simultaneously, an IPv4 broker ensures that IP buyers can promptly purchase a large or small block of IPs.

What should you consider before selling IPs?

If your company wishes to sell IPv4 addresses, there are a few aspects to consider beforehand. Let’s discuss the three most important pain points.

Price of IP addresses

Naturally, the rising demand for IP addresses forces IPv4 prices to go up as well. While this may seem beneficial for the potential seller, it might be challenging to find buyers willing to invest a lot of money for a full block of IPs.

Let’s say you find a buyer who would like to buy your /24 block, which contains 256 IPs, at the price of $44 per IP. The buyer would have to pay around $11,264 to purchase the block. This may be a large amount for a startup or smaller businesses that need IPs and do not want to invest a lot of money upfront. Ultimately, if the prices per IP continue to rise, businesses that need IPs may start looking for alternatives.

IPXO IPv4 address Leasing vs Selling Calculator example.
Leasing vs. Selling Calculator

In the worst-case scenario, you may be unable to sell your unused assets for a long time. As a result, you might need to manage many dormant IPs, which requires additional resources – expertise, time and money.

Transfer process

Another drawback to selling IP addresses is the long and complicated IP transfer process. Why? For one, communication with Regional Internet Registries (RIR) may not be smooth if they fail to promptly respond to an IP holder’s requests. Therefore, the transfer may take from several weeks to maybe even several months.

Moreover, IP holders need to know all the transfer procedures and requirements imposed by RIRs. Consequently, sellers may need more time to familiarize themselves with different and complicated policies, which further drags out the timeline.

Of course, IP sellers can use the services of an approved IPv4 broker that assists in the entire process: From finding buyers to communicating with the relevant internet registry to managing every payment and transaction. Furthermore, IP brokers can assist with IPv4 address transfer documentation; for example, drafting an asset purchase agreement or other tailored contracts. 

Needless to say, you can transfer IPv4 addresses yourself without a middle man, but it might be difficult to find a suitable buyer. Not to mention that you must take care of all the transfer-related paperwork, which may be extremely time-consuming.

A person looking at a whiteboard and planning the IP transfer process.
IP transfering is a complicated and time-consuming process

Lost rights to IP resources

Not all IP holders wishing to sell IPv4 addresses realize that if they sell their intangible assets, they give away a highly valuable commodity. Why? IPv4 addresses are still in high demand, which a low supply cannot support. 

RIRs no longer allocate IPs freely to just any company that requires them, so if you sell IPv4 blocks and find yourself needing the resources again, you are likely to need to spend a lot of money. And again, the purchase process takes a long time. Plus, if you don’t want to coordinate the transaction yourself, you would need to find a broker to assist you with finding the right seller and arranging all the documentation.

If you consider all of this, you might decide you want to hold onto your resources, regardless of whether you are holding small or large blocks of IPs. But what should you do with an unused resource that demands care and protection? Fortunately for you, you can still put those assets to use without trading them.

Gold coins and arrows going in circle around representing recurring revenue.
IP leasing unlocks recurring revenue opportunities

Are there any alternatives to selling IPs?

Did you know you don’t need to sell IPv4 address space to monetize it? You can generate additional funds for your business and support the growth of others by repurposing your IPv4 blocks. How? IP leasing is the answer. 

Join the IPXO Marketplace – the first fully-automated IP lease and monetization platform. Our IP address market is an innovative solution to the scarcity of IPv4 addresses. We help our clients from different industries worldwide to lease and monetize their unused resources and contribute to the more sustainable use of IPv4 addresses.

Compared to transferring IPv4 blocks and selling your assets, IP leasing is a more straightforward process and takes just a few days. After registering at IPXO and uploading your subnets, you can start monetizing and receiving your additional revenue from address sales almost immediately. 

The greatest benefit to joining the IPXO Marketplace is that you can set your own prices and secure a recurring income. Whereas if you decide to sell IPv4, you will only receive a one-time payment. 

In most cases, you don’t need to communicate with your Regional Internet Registry – which depends on your country – to lease IPs and receive additional funds. And you can use the funds acquired from IP monetization to invest and expand your business in other areas.

Furthermore, if you lease your IPv4 blocks, you no longer need to worry about the management side. Our dedicated Abuse Prevention team works hard to mitigate IP abuse and ensure abuse observability.

IPXO abuse mitigation team monitors IP address reputation.
IPXO Abuse Prevention team monitors IP addresses

All these amazing benefits amount to a full-service IP monetization experience. Please note that once subnets are monetized, we apply a standard 5% platform fee for IP holders. This fee is deducted monthly from earned revenue, which means you start paying only once you start earning revenue.

Reap the benefits

Due to the scarcity of IPv4 addresses, these resources have become an intangible commodity. The increased need for IPs and a short supply gave way to the secondary market, in which IP traders help buy or sell IPv4 address blocks. 

But did you know that IP leasing is a great alternative that can help repurpose unused resources and unlock a new source of income? Leasing at IPXO allows companies to quickly monetize their additional IPv4 address blocks while giving the opportunity for other businesses to scale their networks.

If you lease your IPs at IPXO, you don’t need to search for potential clients – IP lessees – yourself. Also, if you lease your IPv4 address blocks, you remain the holder of your intangible assets with the right to withdraw the resources and use them yourself.

Register at IPXO, start leasing and wait for your first payout. If you are still unsure whether to lease or sell IP addresses, book a demo to see our platform in action. We will answer all questions and show how we can help your business lease IPv4 blocks.

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.