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IPv4 Transfer Markets Soar in 4th Quarter 2017


The IPv4 transfer market experienced a huge spike in the last quarter of 2017.  By the end of September (Q1 to Q3) a total of 23.0 million IPs had been transferred.  The final number of IPs transferred in 2017 equaled 65.5 million, which means there were 42.5 million IPs transferred in the fourth quarter alone, which is more than the first three quarters combined and more than all of 2016.

2017 IPs Transferred by Qtr

It was interesting to breakdown where this volume came from.  We compared the number of transfers to the number of IPs transferred:

Number of transfers within each region

  1. APNIC - declined from 521 in 2016 to 369 in 2017
  2. RIPE - held steady at 2303 in 2016 to 2435 in 2017
  3. ARIN - increased from 797 in 2016 to 1199 in 2017

Number of IPs transferred within each region (in millions)

  1. APNIC - declined from 4.3M in 2016 to 2.4M in 2017
  2. RIPE - increased from 7.9M in 2016 and 23.1M in 2017
  3. ARIN - increased from 15.9M in 2016 to 36.0M in 2017

IP Transfers by Region

While there was a reasonable increase in the number of transfers in ARIN region, it has certainly not doubled.  Yet, the number of IPs transferred more than doubled.  In RIPE this pattern is magnified with a steady number transfers from 2016 to 2017, yet almost 3x the number of IPs transferred.  Hence it is clear that the increase is due to a skewing of the size of the transfers from small blocks to larger blocks.  

This becomes clear when we look at the very large transfers: 

  1. there were 3 /10 transfers in Q4 of 2017, which equals 12.6 million IPs
  2. there were 10 /12 transfers in 2017 with 6 of them in Q4
  3. there were 175 /16 transfers in 2017, versus 131 in 2016

The above points help to show where the sudden increased volume came from.  This raises the question:  Can the increased transfer volume continue in 2018?  More to come, in our next blog.