When the Internet Protocol version 4 was first launched in 1983, there was an excess amount of addresses. There were a lot more of those IPv4 addresses than it was known what to do with. Over 4 billion unique IPv4 addresses were distributed to the public, for free.
Those 4 billion addresses were expected to last quite a while, maybe half a century at least. Yet, in a bit over 30 years, it has been depleted. One of the suspected main reasons this has happened is the Internet of Things. As mentioned before, each device that is a part of the Internet of Things needs an IPv4 address. IPv4 addresses are all unique, so it’s not like one household has one IPv4 address like it does one regular address. Each device needs its own unique IPv4 address, and now that the world is being run by smart devices that require an internet connection, it’s no surprise the IPv4 addresses are depleted.
Some devices from the IoT include smart televisions, smart fridges, smart toilets, smart lights, high-tech security systems, and much more. The Internet of Things won’t stop expanding either, in the future there will probably be even more of these devices.
Because of the total exhaustion of IPv4 addresses, there is now a market for IPv4 transferrals. The market has been heating up since the announcement of the depletion of the addresses, and every year since the price for IPv4 has been rising. People see this as an opportunity to sell the IPv4 addresses they aren’t using and others are lining up to buy them for one reason or another. Selling and buying the IPv4 addresses come with many complications, which is why people are also deciding to lease IPv4 addresses. The emergence of the IPv4 markets also brought forth the emergence of IP brokers. IP brokers are specialized in this market and work as a mediator for sellers and buyers of IPv4.
Although the Internet of Things did play a role in the dissipation of the IPv4 addresses, it’s not the only one to blame. The growth of different networks, the cloud, and different mobile technologies also had a part to play. Now, all we can do is bridge the gap from using IPv4 to the next Internet Protocol, version 6.