IPv4 addresses used to be gratis. Today they're selling for ~40 USD each. Ford (!!) got 16.7 million IPs for free, hardly using them. Today they're worth $670M, a better value increase than any crypto currency. At the same time new ISPs can't be started because lack of IPs.

Apple also has 16.7 million IPs. And AT&T has the same. And the US postal service - they don't even deliver email (nor real mail anymore). The US DoD has 233M IPv4 addresses ($9B in market value). That's like 5% of all IPs ever available. And small ISPs struggle to get 250.

There is obviously a shortage of these IP addresses and the long term solution is to replace the whole internet with IPv6, which is not likely to happen anytime soon. Because: the ones that own the internet links that we need to connect to also own the IP addresses.

They're totally happy with renting out space that they paid (and pay) nothing for, for prices like 1 USD per month. Why would they help move to IPv6? Not happening. Short term solution to this is the obvious: force everyone not using their space to hand it over. What you can't use for 5 years into the future should just be handed back. Ban large ISPs from charging for IPv4 addresses to their downlinks.

This is a political problem. Politicians go on about helping the small companies and promoting digitalisations. Small companies can't even offer digital solutions not based on centralised services because of the most valuable resource is owned and controlled by someone else.


Everyone should understand that is not the currency of the internet, IPv4 addresses are. And they're going up in price...

@peter I agree about the centralization of internet services, and it could probably be the reason for slow IPv6 adoption. Bitcoin is at least decentralized, and really looks promising compared to the hyperinflation of western currencies.

@peter This is so worrisome and such a hindrance to the potential of a small, independent web.


Internet protocol is all about routing and transferring, it says nothing for authenticity or integrity so the question of who owns it is only relevant when it comes to gatekeeping and rent-seeking routability... By my estimation, its already possible to use software to defeat this routability rent-seeking as long as the protocols you are using have been updated since the 80s and 90s (they are wrapped in TLS OR they can tolerate alternative ports).

Honestly, usability/ease of use/maintainability is the primary problem that potential server operators face. It would be nice to have more ips, like with IPV6, but that's not going to make it easier for folks to host servers safely and reliably. How do you expect my mother to understand both numbers AND letters for her server's address!? 😲😲

IMO its more scary that mobile networks (most internet users) tend to employ symmetric NAT & most mobile device computing is purely consumption oriented as a result, making mobile production impossible.

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