Supporting the BYOK (Bring Your Own Key) Model for Fair and Sustainable AI Integration

Still there remains a question. How does the developer generate revenue from this?

From what? Overcharging for the API usage or from building your own AI-powered useful services for individuals or companies?

What do you mean by “overcharging”?

devs can still make money… build something your customers value and pay for (same as always)


So you mean you build a software and charge a monthly fee and let them add their key so they also have to pay for api usage?

Well, I guess that’s what you meant by the post in the first place.

Yes, exactly . (You could also charge a fix one time price.)

This makes so much sense.

The other risk is that somebody might abuse your app and it’d be your key that gets banned by OpenAi.


Of course I’m totally biased because I’m working on a BYOK solution. The truth is I don’t have the skills to make some convoluted SAAS solution that isn’t even conducive to the customer experience I want to offer my users. Nay I won’t do it!

I see now you can give the keys a name.
I hope soon it will show up in the usage report

Is it even allowed to share your key with platforms?

No, you are not supposed to … so what we really need is some sort of OAuth

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I fully support every single point you made in your original post, OpenAI already supports the BYOK solution but I think there’s some issues with the current implementation.

Inexperienced users tend to forget that their API key is tied to their credit card details, meaning that they have no problem pasting their key into shady looking websites and unknown repos they’ve cloned of GitHub. They will then blame OpenAI or your business when they get scammed.

Personal use, and business use are very different API use case’s, right now OpenAI is selling the same product to both groups, the forum is full of users asking “why was I charged 5$” at the same time as business users asking for “usage limit increase”

I think this problem could be solved by just separating users automatically based on whether or not they’ve added tax & vat information to their account.

Business users need increased usage & rate limits, personal users need the exact opposite.

What do you mean by this?

I thought BYOK was prohibited? But I guess in a way it is “supoorted”. It’s just a matter of OpenAI actually making their policies more clear on the topic to say “you may ask your users to provide their own key, as long as you do X” or some other form.

I think we’re all capable of asking users for their API key and give them a warning about the potential implications of that, we’re just worried that it goes against an “unwritten rule” that might get the devs kicked off the platform :sweat_smile:

To be clear, while I would like OpenAI to acknowledge and accept BYOK solutions, what I mostly want is for them to make it explicitly clear in their policies whether or not this is permitted, because I have read their policy from beginning to end and cannot come to a conclusion.

It could be a case of “if its not written, then it must be allowed”. But I’m not willing to chance it :sweat_smile:

The information may have moved, but there used to be a section about BYOK in the usage policies:

Ah yes, I’ve stumbled upon this one. Seems like they moved it when the plugins came out. It’s too bad because it really seems like they actually adressed this, but erased it (probably be accident). Even tried looking it up in Wayback Machine :sweat_smile:

There might be some legal reasons why they won’t tell you, I assume it’s a question of liability, if OpenAI specifically tells you that you can create BYOK applications, they may be liable if a user gets scammed and decides to sue them. :thinking:

Hmm I’m confused - BYOK (Bring your own Key) stands for bringing you own encryption Key, no you license Key!

Wonder if OpenAI plans to integrate BYOK to encrypt customer related training data (Would be mitigate a lot of security concerns and helps to fulfill GDPR).

When you have questions, please feel free to contact me.


you are right… it’s a term in cryptography. I haven’t thought about that…
I think the solution would be some sort of OAuth
the user authenticates to OpenAI and authorizes the 3rd party developer’s application to use the API on their behalf. OpenAI should then bill per usage.
That way the developer does not have to pay the bill to OpenAI and the end user does not have to pay 20$ here 20$ there…

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This would be so freaking sweet!

Who’s arm do we need to twist :wink:

Actually, I created a website that allows you to track users’ tokens through an API, there’s no need for counting tokens yourself or for BYOK. The API will be a layer between your app and OpenAI, it’ll forward your requests over to their Chat API and track token usage for you automatically in the same request. You can then get each person’s usage through our Usage API. Check it out and lmk what y’all think: