Similar to Bitcoin, IPv4 addresses continue to remain some of the rarest and most valuable asset classes in the world.  However, unlike other physical resources that are considered “rare” such as gold & diamonds, these digital assets share a unique quality — there is a limited amount by design, and it becomes increasingly more difficult to uncover more as time passes.

Another interesting comparison to note amongst these digital assets is similar to Ethereum which was meant to compete with and possibly replace Bitcoin, IPv6 addresses has been slow to adopt and hasn’t quite accomplished its goal of devaluing or replacing IPv4 addresses. More importantly, IPv4 has an actual use case in the critical internet network infrastructure which affects our global economy, whereas Bitcoin continues to be seen as a speculative technology.

So why is this a significant comparison.  Well, if you study the evolution of the Bitcoin market over the past decade, there is a clear pattern of multiyear dips in the prices, followed by massive peaks.  Likewise, IPv4 prices have experienced only 2 decreases since the creation of the market, and will likely peak again in the near future as more Internet Service Providers continue to develop network in underserved areas all around the world. To support this theory, lets break down the recent IPv4 demand data and average IPv4 prices over the previous 6 years.

Year Avg. Transfer Requests Transfer Requests Change (Y/Y) Avg. Price Per IP Price Changes (Y/Y)
2019 166 0% $20 18%
2020 167 0% $24 20%
2021 156 -7% $38 58%
2022 134 -17% $48 26%
2023 141 5% $41 -14%
2024 152 +8% $35 -15%

As of May 2024, IPv4 transfer requests had a slight dip to 142 per month, which is -6% down from the 152 average transfer requests in 2024.  More importantly, the 142 requests are the same as the average of 141 from 2023 and still an increase of +6% over the average of 134 requests in 2022.   These numbers are significant because those were the 2 years where the industry experienced a consistent decrease in average requests below 150, which affected pricing.

If you are a growing ISP, Hosting Provider or Data Center, it may be a good idea to take note of this analysis.  If there is any indication that your client base is going to continue growing at a steady rate, this could very well be another good time to purchase IPv4 addresses.

Our team of analysts is always here to provide the most valuable information to help service providers make educated decisions when allocating budgets.  Feel free to contact us with any more specific questions or concerns, email

Comparing IPv4 Addresses & Bitcoin, the Rarest Digital Asset Classes

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