Noxx: Enabling Pseudonymity in the workplace
0xD173
October 19th, 2022

We are building Noxx — an innovative payroll tool that enables companies to hire pseudonymous talent, without compromising legal compliance or internal accountability.

Why? Because we believe that the future of the web and of work is pseudonymous, so we’re creating a secure environment that works just as well for hiring companies as it does for pseudonymous workers.

The Pseudonymous Economy is coming

In 2019 at San Francisco Blockchain Week, Balaji Srinivasan first coined the term “Pseudonymous Economy”.

Since then, the world has changed dramatically. Fully digital work has become incredibly common, and professionals have become increasingly concerned with how they can maintain control over their online identities. Pseudonymity at work has gone from a “nice to have” to an essential piece of the puzzle.

https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1494944863435247617
https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1494944863435247617
https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1418309677163552770
https://twitter.com/balajis/status/1418309677163552770

Pseudonymity will change the way we work:

  1. It allows people to be judged based on their skills and knowledge and helps them eliminate discriminatory biases like race, gender, age, etc.

  2. As opposed to anonymity, unique pseudonymous identities accumulate reputations. They provide accountability for people’s activity. For example, you can accumulate your on-chain activity in a single wallet; no one can take over it, unless your private key is compromised.

The Pseudonymous economy is starting to emerge in the context of Web3(as Balaji mentioned) and Metaverse:

In this new paradigm, individuals everywhere will be empowered by equal opportunity, without suffering from bias due to their age, sex or location.

Hurdles to hiring pseudonymous talents

We believe that the world is ready for the Pseudonymous Economy; it just needs the right tools to enable this shift. Right now, hiring talents without disclosing their sensitive information is difficult and in many cases impossible:

  • Security risks

  • Legal compliances

  • A limitation of an existing verification system

    • Talents can not selectively share the data necessary to prove their identity. Their sensitive data will be out of their control after being handed over to companies.

How Noxx protects talents’ privacy while ensuring legal compliance

Noxx mitigates these issues by utilizing the Self-Sovereign Identity building blocks. Our onboarding process verifies Talents’ work eligibility using Verifiable Credentials powered by Zero-knowledge proof and Verifiable Data Registries.

The diagram below shows an overview of our verification process.

verification of Noxx
verification of Noxx

In this flow, each entity has roles:

Talent — Holder of Verifiable Credentials (VC), i.e. Zero-knowledge proof, Soul Bound Token (SBT)

Noxx — Verifier of Zero-knowledge proof AND Issuer of SBT

Company — Verifier of SBT

Verifiable Data Registry — Holds all the essential data and metadata that enables the verification process to operate.

After the verification, Talent is eligible to work with companies through Noxx. Let's go over the steps to understand how this process works in more detail.

KYC(Know Your Customer)

Talents verify themselves via KYC. We use Stripe Identity for this purpose. During the process, we ask for provide government documents and selfies to prove that the Talent exists. All data is redacted and no logs are stored on Stripe after the verification completes.

KYC
KYC

Encrypt and store taxation information in Verified Data Registry

Tax documents are necessary for companies to make a tax return. We use cryptographic technologies to keep them private and secure.

The documents are programmatically generated and encrypted with ECDH cryptography in the Talent's local machine, then securely stored in a private data repository. Only when necessary will Noxx simply pass the relevant information to IRS; at no point does anyone at Noxx or the hiring company store or view their sensitive information.

Proving Work eligibility

Using KYC data and locally generated tax documents, Talents generate the Zero-knowledge proof with groth16 proving system. As Noxx is a company in the US, Talents need to provide proof that:

  • They’re over 18

  • They’re legally authorized to work for a person based in the US

  • The identity used for KYC matches the information on tax documents

ZKP verification
ZKP verification

Talents will then submit this proof with a signature on the blockchain, and Noxx will verify work eligibility for the account tied to this proof with a smart contract.

Persisting verification with SBT

After verification, Talents are now qualified to mint their NFT. This NFT is a permanent proof of work eligibility and is bound to the Talent's wallet. This NFT follows ERC-4973 format, meaning:

  • It’s not transferable to others (as known as Soul bound token)

  • It can be minted only once

  • No one can delete or discard it except the Talent

Noxx NFT(Soul Bound Token)
Noxx NFT(Soul Bound Token)

There are no fees for the Talent, as ZKVerification and NFT mint are executed through our relayer smart contract using meta transaction.

Payments

Payments are directly sent to the Talent's authorized wallet by Stable Coin(USDC) through our service, letting the Talent get paid without releasing sensitive bank information to the hiring company or Noxx.

What’s our next step

We’re excited to open up our service to those on the waitlist and begin discussing your thoughts on how we can improve Noxx! We’re also aiming to collaborate with job boards and talent acquisition teams to open up job opportunities for pseudonymous talents globally.


Tomo is co-founder and CTO at Noxx https://twitter.com/tomoima525

Kiyo is co-founder and CEO at Noxx https://twitter.com/kiyokb

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