A Distributed Autonomous Organization for Internet Address Management Articles uri icon

publication date

  • August 2019

start page

  • 1459

end page

  • 1475

issue

  • 4

volume

  • 67

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0018-9391

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-0040

abstract

  • The current system to manage the global pool of IP addresses is centralized in five transnational organizations, known as regional internet registries (RIRs). Each of them manages the address pool for many countries. In this paper, we present InBlock, a distributed autonomous organization that provides the decentralized management of IP addresses. The InBlock also fulfills the same objectives as those fulfilled by the current IP address allocation organizations, i.e., uniqueness, fairness, conservation, aggregation, registration, and minimized overhead. The InBlock is implemented as a set of blockchain's smart contracts in Ethereum, and it implements all the functions needed for the management of a global pool of addresses without any human intervention. Any entity may request an allocation of addresses to the InBlock registry by performing a (crypto)currency transfer to the InBlock. The fee required, along with the annual renewal fee, serves as a mechanism to deter stockpiling and other wasteful practices. As with any novel technology, there are many open questions about the usage of blockchains to build an IP address registry. For this reason, we believe that practical experimentation is required in order to have hands-on experience, so we propose to conduct an experiment on the InBlock as a starting point to inform about the future directions in this space.

keywords

  • internet; ip networks; network security; routing protocols