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IPv4 Transfer Volume and the Impact of the Inter-RIR IPv4 Transfer Market


At the end of the year, it’s a good practice to take a look at and analyze IPv4 Transfer Market data.

As 2016 wound down, we thought we would take a look at the total volume of transfers and the number of IPv4 addresses that had been moved among ARIN, RIPE, and APNIC. Since December data was not yet available in all regions, the analysis was cut off at the end of November 2016.

In doing this analysis, one challenge was to note that most Inter-RIR transfers are reported by both regions. Hence, it was necessary to remove duplicate counting. For example, when an IP moves from ARIN to RIPE, both ARIN and RIPE include the transfer in their statistics.

A second challenge is to note that RIPE Region does not report on legacy transfers.

These two issues may distort the numbers slightly, but the analysis is probably quite close.

Our data shows the following trend:

2016 IPv4 Transfer Market Data

Breaking Down the Data

In reading the chart, you can see that ARIN leads in the number of IPs transferred with about 66.3 million IPv4 addresses transferring within ARIN, and 80.4 million IPs transferred total. This implies that ARIN has retained 82.4% of all IPs it has transferred so far. In addition, it has only received 0.45% as imported IPs.

APNIC has received the fewest total IPs with 23.98 million IPs transferred to or within APNIC. Of these, 40.47% are imported from other regions with most coming from ARIN region.

RIPE is in the middle of the road, but we must mention again that RIPE Legacy stats are not included. RIPE has transferred 31.4 million IPs with almost 15% coming from other regions.  

Retention of IPs in both APNIC and RIPE is about 99%, so there is not much exporting from either region. Perhaps the small number of exports in these regions is between related companies.

With almost 122 million IPv4 addresses transferred in the IPv4 market through the end of November 2016, approximately 7.3 total /8s have been transferred. It will be interesting to see how many additional /8s free up for transfer in the future.