[arin-ppml] Change of Use and ARIN (was: Re: AFRINIC And The Stability Of The Internet Number Registry System)

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at tristatelogic.com
Thu Sep 2 16:39:17 EDT 2021

In message <058401d7a013$7797d160$66c77420$@iptrading.com>, 
"Mike Burns" <mike at iptrading.com> wrote:

>We tried the method you've espoused below for thirty years and 
>the result were a huge amount of wasted address space. Once the market 
>was adopted, many of those addresses found a useful place in the routing 

Well, it's sort of a Catch-22.  Mike, you're absolutely right that once
there was a free market, a lot of stuff came off the shelves and started
to be used productively.  But can any of us say with confidence that once
there was a free market, a lot of this commodity (IPv4) that was sitting
on shelves didn't just stay there -because- of the open and free market...
because the "owners" of those blocks effectively became speculators, just
waiting arond for the scarcity to become more acute, and for the price to
go up?

(I confess that I never in my life took an economics class, but it seems
to me that the entire field is chock full of head-scratching conundrums
like this... situation where you are damned if you do and damned if you

>The free pool era is dying, let's put a fork in it as quickly as 
>possible We've seen the corruption engendered by the bait of the 
>free pool in multiple registries now, including our own.

Just curious Mike... Does this opinion on your part extend also to IPv6?

>Your old-fashioned method of address distribution would get some 
>addresses to those in need, I will concede that. However, so will 
>leasing addresses, with that demonstration of need being the lease 
>payment. Will  you concede that those who pay to lease addresses need 

Even if nobody else does, I certainly will.  But of course that's not the
only issue.

The current Cloud Innovation v. AFRINIC thing is in some ways confusing as
hell because it has brought to a head -multiple- long-standing issues that
have then gotten all tangled up with one another, making it difficult for
anybody to tease apart the various separate issues.

One of these is what might be called "equity", i.e. the social desire to
help Africa, a continent and a people who have been on the receiving end
of so much exploitation and malevolent evil, over the centuries, at the
hands of others.

Another issue is the right and proper role of RIRs.

Last but not leas (and perhaps the most troubling and most difficult to
crack open in a way that does not merely reveal our individual biases) is
the question of the proper role of what I will just call "speculators"
within any free market.

Contrary to what some might say, I think that when it comes to IPv4 addresses
at least, it most certainly -is- possible to distinguish "speculators" from
actual and legitimate end users and/or legitimate brokers & middlemen such
as yourself.  As I understand it, the current system requires people to
document their equipment purchases.  No equipment purchases?  You're almost
certainly just a speculator.

So then the question becomes two-fold:  (1) Do we want speculators in this
marketplace? and (2) Is there any actually feasible way to keep them out
of the "free" market even if the collective "we" firmly decided that we
wanted to do so?

I personally don't have answers to any of these questions.  I would only
offer up the observation that I am aware of at least a few speculators at
this moment in time, and it would be an understatement for me to say that
their actions seem to me to be both glaringly untoward and also unhelpful.
But if you ask me IN GENERAL whether "speculators" are a necessary and even
useful component of a free market, I cannot say they are not.  And it seems
I may not be alone in leaving open this possibility:



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