[arin-ppml] Q1 - ARIN address transfer policy: why the trigger date?

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Fri Jun 20 13:38:53 EDT 2008

In a message written on Fri, Jun 20, 2008 at 04:49:34PM +0000, Paul Vixie wrote:
> isn't this inevitable in times of shortage, regardless of the shade (regulated
> or unregulated) of the market that inevitably occurs when humans face
> shortages?  if it is, then our choice is not whether a market appears, but
> rather, whether that inevitable market is regulated or unregulated.

Without getting into the details of implementation (and by extension,
how various countries have implemented them over time)...

The two extremes are capitalism, which generally leads to the rich
getting what they need and the poor getting nothing, and socialism,
which generally leads to everyone getting a proportional amount
(possibly less than they need).

However, I think "shortage" doesn't encompass the entire situation
in this case.  The really interesting question is one of fungibility.
If your worry is that the poor eat then a freeze in Florida zapping
the orange juice crop is not a big concern.  Yes, the price of
orange juice will rise, and only the rich will have orange juice;
but it's not the case that the poor have nothing.  They can have
apple juice, or grape juice, or soda, or water, or lemonaid.  To
those on a budget beverage choice is highly fungible.  This also
has a great tempering effect on the orange juice market.  When the
price rises a small amount demand naturally eases, keeping the price
from spiking to absurd levels.

Compare with say, oil.  For most consumers there's nothing they can
put in their car tank besides gasoline, and swapping out the vehicle
for a non-petroleum based vehicle is very difficult.  A relatively
modest supply issue causes huge spikes in the price as a result.

So the debate hinges on how much you believe IPv4 and IPv6 are
fungible.  Are they like orange juice?  If so it would take only a
minor increase in IPv4 costs to drive people to IPv6, which would
automatically prevent an IPv4 market from ever becoming a large,
widespread thing.  If you believe IPv4 is more like oil, and IPv6
is like hydrogen technology, promising but not yet ready then the
lack of IPv4 will create a huge, volatile market as people panic
since there is no real way they can move to IPv6.

I personally happen to think they are relatively fungible.  The
mere fact that IPv4 is unavailable will drive people to IPv6, and
any small market that develops (black, white, or grey) will only
accelerate that trend.  To that end any market is self-defeating;
and I think very quickly so.  If you believe, as I do, that the mere
fact that there is no more IPv4 available from ARIN will drive people to
IPv6 then I think it may well be the case that a "market" does not
appear. (*)

Others have different opinions.

* Which is not to say I believe there will be zero transactions.
  Someone will hijack space, someone will sell, someone will buy.
  For there to be a real market, there must be multiple buyers, and
  sellers and some reasonably well defined way for them to meet.
  A few isolated individual transactions does not count, at least
  to me.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
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