Borders Bankruptcy: Forget The Books. How Much Do You Want For Those IPv4 Addresses?

As federal bankruptcy courts dismantle every last remaining piece of the once-mighty Borders book chain, including a CRM database of some 43 million loyalty-program customers, one asset caught the eye Wednesday (Aug. 10) of liquidators: IPv4 addresses.

In light of the severe global shortage of IPv4 addresses, this asset—far removed from the books and online files—may be the most valuable of all. "In addition to its trademarks and E-Commerce assets, Borders is the holder of a contiguous block of IPv4 addresses, which it seeks to transfer to a qualified buyer," said Wednesday's statement from Streambank, the company retained by the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York to market and sell the chain's intellectual property assets. "Borders has established a worldwide reputation as a leading destination for buyers of physical and digital media including books, eBooks, eReaders and related accessories. Borders remains engaged with its customers through the E-Commerce site, which it expects to continue in business until transitioned to a new operator." How sad is it that one of the nation's largest bookstore chains is ripped apart and the most exciting asset is IP addresses? Talk about ego-deflation.