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Introducing a pay-per-char translation service powered by IOTA x

Abstract: When it comes to ways to monetize digital services, there are three popular models: freemium, subscription and fixed-price. In most cases, the consumer pays too much in relation to the actual consumption of a service. Overpayments are typical for this kind of pricing models. This issue can be solved by pay-per-x, a pricing model where only the actual consumption is charged.

The status quo

Most of the digital services in the digital area require either a monthly membership, its a freemium model or a free model (which does not mean it is really free — mostly you pay with your personal data).

It’s still very uncommon to have payment methods where only the actual consumption is charged. This leads to cost inefficiencies because the amount each user pays is fixed, regardless of how much of the service is actually consumed.

One way to solve overpayments is by introducing a pay-per-x pricing model, which scales with the amount of consumption. It is beneficial to both the consumer and the service provider. Service providers are enabled to charge for premium features even in smaller quantities. On the other side, users on low-budget get access to premium features without paying too much upfront.

The era of pay-per-x begins to emerge

The concept of selling smaller chunks of a product is nothing new at all. Many years ago for example the detergent producers Ariel and Surf Excel started to offer smaller package sizes of their products to enable also people with low income to purchase their products.

Package sizes of detergent powder sold in India (source of image in footer)

A simple equation of sales revenue reveals the benefit for the producer.

Sales Revenue = Units Sold x Sales Price

Assuming that the number of customers who can afford to buy the normal quantities remain the same, the additional influx of low-income customers who now can also afford to buy the products increase the overall revenue.

We can also draw a chart to explain it in a visual way using a supply and demand curve. Fees cause sellers to increase prices but at the same time less people can afford to buy, leading to reduction of consumption (from 10 to 5 units). Although seller has same revenue as before due to increased price (from USD 2.50 to USD 5), the low-income class are excluded from consuming the service (left hand side). On the right chart we see that removing fees increases buyers’ and sellers’ surplus.

left: fees increase price and reduce quantity. right: fee-less means lower prices and increased quantity

Applying this concept to digital services comes with a big advantage in times where the oceans are full of plastic waste: Each additional unit sold does not necessarily produce more waste but more value.

We are looking for a new super cool name, for now we just call it TranslateBits. Particpate in our name giving contest and win IOTA worth 50 Euros. More details at the end of this post.

Introduction of TranslateBits

Following this concept, as of today the landscape of pay-per-x business models becomes richer. We introduce the first pay-per-char translation service based on IOTA. Instead of purchasing a fixed contingent at popular premium translation services, TranslationsBits allows to pay only for the actual number of chars that are translated by premium translation services of AWS, DeepL and Google.

Landing page of TranslateBits powered by

This novelty business model comes with more than one benefit: No subscription, no personal data and no credit card is required. Just pure translation as much as needed and get charged only for the actual number of digits. There is no limit in terms of minimum nor maximum number of chars.

Technologies powering TranslateBits

The enabling core technology comes from IOTA, which provide a permissionless, fee-less and scalable distributed ledger technology called Tangle.

TranslateBits is also powered by, providing the API to connect this application to the IOTA Tangle (Tangle-as-a-Service). Users can use an existing username and password to pay for the services whereas TranslateBits make use of the API to manage transactions on the Tangle (a detailed how-to guide at the bottom of this article).

After uploading a document, the total number of chars are counted and multiplied with a price of x per char. The total price is shown along with a checkout button. Users can now easily proceed the checkout by entering a username and password. After the payment was approved, the document is sent to the selected translation API in the backend and a translated document is sent via email to the user.

This simple approach can be adapted to a nearly limitless number of services, isolating the actual service from personally identifiable information such as name, address and credit card information.

The only requirement is a valid account at, which is completely free of charge.


We are working on integrating the best translation APIs available. Currently TranslateBits supports only AWS. Further Translation APIs of DeepL and Google are in active development and subject to integration in near future.

TranslateBits can be easily extended, e.g. by adding translations “on-demand” for websites (via Browser Plugin or similar). If some developers interested in supporting us, we are open to discuss collaboration requests.

Currently, we are working on finishing the website and stabilizing the backend. Meanwhile…

…take your chance and give this new use case a name!

Be part of the journey and submit your name idea for this baby! We award the winner with IOTA tokens worth 50 Euro. The deadline for submissions is Saturday, June 1st. We select a winner on Sunday, June 2nd, and announce it on Twitter!

Submit your name idea as answer on following twitter post. The winner will be afterwards requested to send us a valid IOTA address where we will send the prize 🏆.

The name can be everything that sounds good and simple. It is not important to have something to do with translation.

If you just want to simplify the decision, just leave a ❤️ for the post with the name of your choice !

Thanks for your ongoing support!

The team behind wish you all best luck for winning the contest.
We’re available for support & questions on the below mentionend communication channels.

Contact us


Helpful links

delion signup
delion website
IOTA use cases worth spreading

Previous articles

Getting started with Node.js and
How to connect your application to IOTA Tangle in 9 minutes
Set up IOTA payment gateway with a few lines of code
Send and receive IOTA by just using E-Mail addresses
IOTA: Tangle-as-a-Service with delion:api

Disclaimer is not affiliated or part of the IOTA Foundation. We are focused on establishing a useful service for developers, startups and companies to help increase the adoption of IOTA Tangle as promising DLT.





#delionAPI provides a powerful #API for developers and companies to explore and develop new business models based on #IOTA #DLT

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