Proven Works was created to reduce the time consuming and expensive process of employee verification and provide easy-to-use, tamper-proof employee identity. Here’s how Proven Works, works.
By Mike Ebert
The benefit of Proven Works is that it allows companies and organizations to issue proof-of-employment credentials to their employees. Why would companies and organizations care? Because by including employee, employer, and employment information in a portable verifiable credential, Proven Works unlocks a host of benefits — including enhanced security, a reduction in wasted time, and lower costs for all of the parties involved in an employment ecosystem.
By storing employee, employer, and employment details in a verifiable credential, you can quickly verify and trust that data. For example, if you have trusted employment data, you could avoid fraud or phishing attempts by using a verifier to prove that an individual is an employee of the company before taking a sensitive action. Some basic authentication and authorization workflows are also included with the solution, such as using an employment credential to open a building door or access a zoom call, further increasing the security of your offices and meetings.
Another major benefit is the reduction in time and money wasted entering and duplicating the same employment details over and over again, such as when applying for benefits, working with a payroll company, or when applying for a loan with a financial institution. This reduction in redundant work also has the additional advantage of lessening the likelihood of human error that can occur when quickly entering great quantities of information.
Legacy systems often rely on papers, human interactions, and purpose-built tools. Paper documents can be forged, human interactions can be gamed, and purpose-built tools can be constrained, meaning they are often not interoperable or useful in other contexts. Proven Works makes forgery nearly impossible, replaces some human interactions and augments others, and opens up employment data for use in a variety of other contexts and systems without the need for direct integrations.
This technology is still new, and one of the challenges many organizations have told us they face when using verifiable credentials is the “chicken or the egg” problem — who goes first in the ecosystem? Proven Works was designed to be deployed with all the parts of the early ecosystem coming into existence at the same time, solving the chicken or the egg problem by providing both.
Once a company is using Proven Works, other partners can be added to the system — insurance providers, payroll companies, 401ks, banks, etc. — to share the benefits of employment credentials, leading to a growing, vibrant network.
Proven Works is built on interoperable open source standards and technologies, so as Proven Works ecosystems start to overlap with other Trusted Digital Ecosystems, they will be able to interact and enable even richer experiences and benefits.
But how does it work in practice?
It’s pretty simple — organizations that choose to use this tool would set up an Issuer and a process (whether human or API driven) to collect employment details and then issue them to employees as verifiable credentials. Employees would connect to the Issuer, receive the credentials, and store the credentials in an Aries-compatible agent application such as Holdr+. Various departments and systems within the company or from its partners would request credentials from the employees, who would review the requests and consent (or decline) to share the data from their agent application.
Proven Works is a quickly expanding solution, and we have two improvements coming soon that I am confident telling you about. The first is secure messaging — employers and employees need to be able to communicate with each other with less risk of impersonation or phishing. The second is that employment credentials will be able to be used as part of a passwordless login system to offer much richer authentication and authorization workflows.