In 1985, Jun Murai started Japan-Based WIDE Project, which was the owner of IPv4 address range 18.104.22.168/8 consisting of 16,777,216 IP addresses.
In March of 2020, there was a deal made between APNIC and Jun Murai A.K.A. the Internet Samurai to split the ownership rights of 22.214.171.124/8. They started the Asia Pacific Internet Development Trust, which was owned equally by APNIC and Murai’s WIDE Project.
They agreed that while there was no definitive plan on how to use the funds, they would focus on expanding internet use in the Asia-Pacific region; reduce the digital divide; and continue to do heavy research and education in the region.
Earlier this year, there were conversations about which company would win the unique opportunity to buy these IP addresses. As of August 4th, 2020 it was confirmed in APNIC transfer logs that internet giant Alibaba purchased and completed the transfer of IPv4 block 126.96.36.199/9, which consists of 8,388,608 IP addresses. While the prices was undisclosed, it is rumored to have been sold between $25 – $30 per IP address, which would bring the total sales amount between $209 Million and $251 Million.
This large purchase was kept pretty quiet and had no affect on the pricing of IPv4 addresses in the global market. In fact, it may have helped keep prices low as now Alibaba will no reason go out to the free market and buy IPv4. With that said, the market does continue to have rising prices for IPv4 as the demand increase in availability continues to fall short.