[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 17:49:49 EDT 2021

In message <05f901d7a03d$784620b0$68d26210$@iptrading.com>, 
"Mike Burns" <mike at iptrading.com> wrote:

>Geoff Huston did an analysis a few years back which pretty conclusively
>showed older and unused legacy blocks were a primary source for the transfer

I am quite entirely sure that that is the case.  But even assuming, as we
both do, that that is true, that does not undercut the point I made which
is that for all we know, there are plenty of folks out there right now
who are holding onto their unused IPv4 space in the hopes that they will
be able to sell that in the future for more money than they can today,
due to the ever-increasing scarcity.

Mining companies were continuing to mine silver and were continuing to
sell it to industrial end users for practical applications even as the
Hunt Brothers were attempting to corner the silver market in March, 1980.
The one activity ("speculating") does not preclude the other ("practical
application of the resource") or vise versa.  Both can and do co-exist.

>" Just curious Mike... Does this opinion on your part extend also to IPv6?"
>Of course not. IPv6 is not a scarce resource and there is no market for it
>to compete with the free pool.

IPv6 isn't scarce -today-.  If we look out 25 years it may become so.
So then what?

The "nuclear option" is just to detonate all of these RIRs and sell off
their entire remaining holdings... both IPv4 and IPv6... in exactly the
same manner that the FCC auctions off spectrum, i.e. to the highest bidder,
leaving the RIRs to be just "county property registry" type entities whose
only job is to keep the books.

This seems to be what Lu Heng and others want, and strange as it may sound
coming from me, nobody has ever persuaded me that this would actually be a
Bad Idea... and I gather that you also would tend to view this idea favorably.

Just for clarity, I've never said that I oppose this goal. I've only said
that I personally find Lu Heng's manner of trying to achieve it reprehensible.

>What you call "speculation" is I think a misnomer. That word is pointedly
>used because it has negative connotations in the mind of the economically

Well, *I* certainly did not intend it that way.  Speculators can be good.
Speculators can be bad.  It all depends on specifics and context.

>What really is happening with leasing is merely a different
>channel of distribution, and it emulates the presence of leasing in auto
>markets,  equipment markets, property markets, and many others because it
>makes economic sense.  
>What if you rent out  your spare bedroom, are you a speculator? 

Arguably yes, but my mother would still love me anyway. :-)

>What if you buy the house next door and rent it out, are you a speculator?

Arguably yes, but see above.

Again, I personally don't attach entirely negative connotations to the
word "speculator".  In a very fundamental way, we are all speculators
each time we get up in the morning and go to work, expecting to slave
away all day in the hope that we will not be rendered moot by some
dinosaur crushing metor before we can make it home at the end of the day
to our gin & tonic.  Everyone takes risks and if noone did, civilization
as we know it would not only cease to exist, it would never have come
into being in the first place.

The real problem of course, and the reason why "speculators" have tended
to get a bad name, is that some few can be seen to get ahead not by dint
of hard work but rather via sharp dealing and/or secret connections.

>If it should also happen
>that meeting these needs is a profitable venture for the lessor, and the
>lessor wants to buy another block to lease out, what is the problem with

I see nothing wrong with that, as long as the playing field is level, as
long as everyone knows and conforms to both the letter and the spirit of
the rules, whatever those rules may be at the time.

In fact it is really only (a) too-clever misreadings of contracts and/or
(b) the use of secret "insider" connections by a few that really chap my
hide.  As long as people are plying the capitalism game in a fair manner,
I have no objections whatsoever and in fact I heartily endorse what has
has, over time, proven to be the best way to insure efficient use of
limited resources.


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