[arin-ppml] ARIN-prop-165 Eliminate Needs-Based Justification on8.3 Specified Transfers

George Bonser gbonser at seven.com
Sun Feb 19 18:59:01 EST 2012

> It's time to inculcate a free transfer market by removing ARIN
> transactional impediments like needs requirements, when those
> requirements were designed solely to foster conservative stewardship of
> free pool addresses, not already allocated addresses, on a transfer
> market where the addresses have a monetary value.

They have monetary value only to the extent that they may be transferred.  One must exist to create the other.  These are not property.  Resource allocations are a finite global resource and people have been designated a certain amount of that resource according to need.  I believe it is also the desire that unused resources be returned for re-allocation or transferred also according to need.  While I am an ardent support of free markets, this is one of the exceptional cases where a free market in the resource would do harm to a larger free market (operations on the internet in general).  It would allow an exceptionally deep-pocketed individual or organization to hoard address space and drive up market values or engage in malicious depriving of the market of address resources.  

Unlike gold or any other commodity, these addresses can not be added to by mining or improvements in production, etc.  The pie is of a fixed size and can not change in size.  This is at the same time the demands on those resources are increasing.  

This is a very short-sighted notion if looked at in the context of stewardship of the overall internet.  One might make a short term killing on IP address space yet do a huge amount of harm to the Internet as a whole.

> Fear of bogeymen like speculators and market-cornerers may be mitigated
> by the knowledge that huge blocks are available, and huge dollar
> amounts would be required to corner this market.

And there are plenty of people around with huge piles of idle cash.  The Warren Buffets of the world come to mind but even state actors could get into the fun.  A government could, through innumerable third parties, accumulate huge amounts of address space if the desire is to simply do harm to the economies that are more reliant on such space than theirs.  

> Speculators. Let's wait until we at least have a whiff of their
> existence before we strangle a market still in it's cradle

This is one place where a "free market" is not desirable, in my opinion.

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