“We convert resumes into NFTs!”

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Rezoomex’s Hyperledger Fabric-based blockchain platform focuses on gig work, converting resumes into NFTs with unique avatars to prevent impersonation. OSFY’s Yashasvini Razdan had an engaging conversation with Founder Director Vinayak Joglekar who spoke about how the company uses blockchain to quantify and monetise a person’s calibre and experience.

Q. What is Rezoomex?

A. Recognising a gig work shift, where 75% of candidates are inactive and 15% engaged, Rezoomex aims to facilitate on-the-job upskilling. We convert resumes into NFTs (non-fungible tokens) with unique avatars, preventing impersonation. Our platform issues ‘calibre tokens’ representing skills and experience. These tokens can be staked on other professionals, creating a reputation system where endorsements are limited by the amount of calibre one possesses, encouraging judicious use. Rezoomex includes a revenue-sharing model. When professionals earn from gig work, they share a portion with others who have staked their calibre on them, promoting a sense of community and financial support.

Q. What are calibre tokens and how do you assign a value to these tokens?

A. Calibre tokens represent digital skills, quantified based on the current market demand. A scientific formula algorithmically scrapes job data from platforms like LinkedIn and Google Jobs daily, analysing over 3800 technologies and functional skills with assigned weightages based on market demand for those skills. An individual’s profile is then assessed for hands-on experience in these skills, considering duration and recency, to calculate calibre tokens.

Q. What are the gig work opportunities available on this platform?

A. Gig work, facilitated on this platform, involves short or smart contracts for defined tasks. For example, companies hire part-time specialists, like a UX designer, and pay based on hourly work. Another instance is a DevOps smart contract aiming to reduce server restarts, rewarding achievement. Fractional CTOs, needed by startups that can’t afford a full-time one, provide credibility as advisors on websites.

Q. What is the significance of open source for Rezoomex?

A. We are an open source platform. Rezoomex alone cannot scale this operation; it requires a broader network. This network is built on blockchain technology, which underpins our smart contracts, NFTs, and other functionalities. In our ecosystem, node operators play a crucial role. These operators, including Rezoomex, IPS in Singapore, Alfonso in the US, and potentially a new one in Bangalore, each run a copy of the blockchain. This network of operators works on a shared platform, which is where the open source aspect comes into play. New node operators joining the platform receive access to the underlying blockchain code, which is open source. This code, based on technologies like Hyperledger Fabric and Chaincode, is freely available to them. They can easily integrate and start operating their node.

Q. Would this have been possible in the absence of open source?

A. No, our platform’s current development wouldn’t be possible without open source. Technologies like Hyperledger, crucial to our platform, stem from the open source movement. Hyperledger, created by the Linux Foundation with contributions from entities like IBM, is a key example. Open source is vital — the collaborative model allows extensive input from a diverse community, which is impossible with proprietary software, especially for small entities. IBM’s decision to open source such technology has facilitated widespread adoption and further development.

Q. Why choose Hyperledger Fabric for handling personal and confidential data?

A. This decision prioritises privacy and control due to the sensitivity of personal information. Public blockchains, like Ethereum, lack the necessary privacy controls. The data on a public blockchain is visible to all with network access, undesirable when handling personal data. Hyperledger Fabric, on the other hand, enables the creation of a private, permissioned blockchain. Only a consortium of vetted, Digital Personal Data Protection (DPDP) Act-compliant companies can access and manage the data, ensuring secure and non-public exposure.

Q. What do you mean by a node?

A. In our context, a node, like Rezoomex, is a blockchain operator with identical functions. Each node operates a copy of the blockchain, consisting of blocks containing resumes, transactions, and smart contracts. All nodes must agree and validate information for a block to be added, confirming legitimacy and ownership, including NFT minting. Once all nodes verify a block, it becomes verified in the blockchain. Unlike centralised systems, our decentralised blockchain distributes data ownership among multiple nodes instead of a single entity. Nodes collaborate to maintain data integrity and verification in the blockchain.

Q. How is sensitive public data secured when it is open sourced? What measures are put in place?

A. The government of India has implemented the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, which our platform fully complies with. This act defines ‘digital personal data’ as sensitive information, including an individual’s name and identity. Personal data, as defined by the DPDP Act, cannot be disclosed without explicit permission and only for the specific purposes granted. On our platform, privacy is prioritised by using avatars instead of revealing names. While users can access information about skills and experience, actual identities remain concealed. Personal data is not disclosed, and information sharing is solely for obtaining gig work. Unlike platforms that share user data for marketing, our approach ensures private identities and contacts. If a party wants a user’s identity, they must request it, and disclosure happens only after user permission.

Q. As there is no cash inflow from the users, how is money being generated on the Rezoomex platform?

A. The revenue generation on our platform is primarily through transaction fees. When two parties engage in a transaction for gig work on the platform, we collect a fee from this transaction. This fee is the primary source of our income. Rezoomex earns revenue by charging a transaction fee, similar to how credit card companies operate. For every gig work transaction facilitated through our platform, we collect a fee of 2.5%. The platform operates based on information exchange between two interested parties: one side being the gig worker offering their services, and the other being the entity that requires and pays for these services. Neither side is required to make any investment or payment to use the platform itself; the platform’s services are free for both parties involved in the gig work.

Q. Is there a fee for building an account on Rezoomex?

A. Creating an account on Rezoomex does not involve any upfront fees. Users are only required to pay when a smart contract they are involved in is successfully executed and completed. This payment occurs at the final stage of the process, where a task or work assigned is completed. The payment is made to the NFT holder who has finished the task, not directly to Rezoomex.

Q. What benefit does Rezoomex get by collecting resumes at Open Source India?

A. At Open Source India, we are using the opportunity to educate people about concepts like NFTs (non-fungible tokens), avatars, and smart contracts, which are integral to our platform. By engaging attendees in the process of minting their NFTs and creating avatars using their resumes, we provide a hands-on learning experience. This practical involvement goes beyond just reading a brochure, as participants actively go through the steps of using our platform. The booth at Open Source India attracted a significant crowd, indicating the interest and engagement of the participants. Even after we ran out of swags, people continued to visit our booth for the experience and learning.

Q. Is the interaction between a gig worker and the one handing out the contract direct, or does it happen through a channel?

A. The interaction occurs through our platform, acting as an intermediary channel. If users were to bypass the platform and deal directly with each other, they would have to establish trust independently, which can be challenging between unknown parties. In the case of smart contracts, trust is placed in the platform and the contract’s conditions, not necessarily in the other party. With smart contracts, transactions are executed automatically by the computer program once predefined conditions are met, ensuring that there is no human intervention that could lead to manipulation or cheating.

Q. There is a lot of mistrust related to blockchain due to several mishaps. How are you dealing with that?

A. We prioritise practical benefits for users over technology details. Users, mainly focused on gig work outcomes like hiring a fractional CTO or content creation, are less concerned with the underlying process. Our market messaging avoids negative blockchain or cryptocurrency associations, using terms like ‘avatars’ instead of NFTs and ‘tokens’ instead of ‘coins’. This simplifies the technology for users. At technical events, we delve into blockchain and NFTs, but for average users, these technicalities are abstracted. They interact with the platform like any other service, trusting in ethical and fair smart contract-based dealings. The current negative blockchain connotation will fade, as there’s no financial downside or upfront commitment for users. They can engage in gig work or other activities and potentially earn money through the platform.

Q. Is there a way to verify the authenticity of the data (skills) that are put in?

A. Currently, we lack a formal mechanism to independently verify experience claims, and rely on a trust-based system. If someone asserts ten years of Java experience at IBM, we trust that. The credibility of skills is determined through a reputation system involving peers who can stake their calibre, endorsing skills and experience. ‘Guild masters’ for each technology ensure legitimate calibre claims and monitor for discrepancies. We offer platform tests for skill validation, but these don’t alter calibre ratings. Emphasis is on peer-validated reputation rather than formal certifications or test results.

Q. Is there a way to keep a check on people who make fake identities and earn passively by staking on high calibre individuals?

A. Preventing fake identities for passive earning through staking on high-calibre individuals is challenging. The process relies on calibre tokens influenced by entered data and connections. In the marketplace, only avatars appear, requiring knowledge and connections to stake effectively. Creating a dummy identity and staking on professionals is theoretically possible but has limitations. Professionals may question unknown stakeholders without recognition or connection. Our mutual staking process reduces suspicions. Guild masters monitor activities, investigating high calibre but inactive stakeholders. Multiple participants lead to divided rewards, reducing earnings and increasing the risk of being caught. This makes the practice less rewarding and riskier.

Q. Does the platform keep a check on whether the tasks are completed or just until the contract is handed over?

A. In our platform, task completion and verification are managed through smart contracts, computer programs triggered by specific events. This process is straightforward – if the event occurs, the transaction takes place; if not, it won’t. For instance, when reducing server restarts, if these decrease from 10 to 5, a predetermined amount ($1000) is automatically paid without the need for a claim. Similarly, content writers earn $1000 if their piece reaches 1000 views measured by Google Analytics, with the process being automatic and transparent. Smart contracts eliminate the need for mutual trust, relying solely on fulfilling predefined conditions for automatic and fair transactions.

Q. How does Rezoomex deal with dormant accounts?

A. If an NFT holding account stays inactive, its associated calibre naturally decreases over time due to the importance of recent expertise. Inactivity leads to depreciation in calibre. Although a dormant account’s calibre may decrease, the account itself remains on the blockchain due to its immutable nature. Once an NFT is minted, a user’s identity and information permanently exist on the blockchain. Thus, a dormant account persists with its NFT intact. However, over time, visibility and relevance may diminish as calibre decreases, affecting the account’s significance in the platform’s ecosystem.

Q. Where is all this data stored, physically?

A. It runs on AWS (Amazon Web Services). AWS earns through our monthly recharge, which is less than 5% of our expenses.

Q. Are there any chances of stack overflow?

A. A stack overflow due to this is highly unlikely. We store only the hash code of each user’s information in the blockchain blocks. These hash codes are very compact, and measured in bytes, not kilobytes. Therefore, even the data for the entire human population could be stored without causing a stack overflow, as the amount of data is minimal and efficiently managed.

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