The voodoo economics of internet addresses

Creditors of the insolvent Canadian telecoms kit maker Nortel must be relieved to know that Microsoft is prepared to pay $11.25 for each of 666,000-odd IPv4 internet addresses, according to papers filed with the Delaware bankruptcy court.
Since IANA, the not-for-profit organisation that gives out internet addresses, gives them out for free, this is a nice something for nothing for them.
Downtime has been predicting a black market in IPv4 addresses as the last ones were issued in February, despite the address distributors trying to get everyone excited about IPv6, the incompatible and very much bigger addressing scheme. Even Google, which has already made the switch, is pushing for an IPv6 test day on 8 June.
Be that as it may, Downtime is still bewildered by the voodoo economics that Microsoft’s bid implies: how does something that was free to start with suddently become worth $11.25 when there are so many better substitutes that evey cell in every person now living could have its own?
Answers on a post card, or its modern form, Twitter, please.

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