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Show HN: I made a site that shows jobs where you can work pseudonymously (anonfriendly.com)
306 points by 0xPersona on June 15, 2022 | hide | past | favorite | 257 comments

Aren't employers in most jurisdictions required to verify work eligibility and report income?

Does "pseudonymously" just mean that they these employers commit to supporting your alternative identity when engaging with the public, the way publishers might handle a pen name?

Or is this something different?

I'm probably not the only person who will wonder about this, so it might help to put the answer as text on the site. (Maybe it's explained in the video, but a 30 minute video is a big ask)

I also have some more questions, such as:

* how do you provide me with health insurance and other governmental benefits?

* for the purposes of anything official, am I as an individual technically unemployed?

* how do you provide me with retirement options such as a 401k?

* how do you report on my earnings to the IRS?

Your questions are very US-centric. What if the company does not even have presence in your country?

I understood this as "you do work, we pay you, each of us handles our legal concerns in our respective countries".

In most developed countries the "legal concerns" of an employer include knowing basic details about who they are doing business with.

I don’t know how these companies actually do it, but I reckon the easiest way to set this up is if you register locally as an independent freelancer or equivalent. That way you take care of all that yourself.

That does, of course, leave the question of how to actually get paid anonymously, as there are plenty of accounting requirements for businesses that aren’t compatible with anonymity here either.

I notice most of the jobs listed involve cryptocurrency, sometimes called "prosecution futures" by skeptics ;).

I'm not saying those jobs are scams, but what a coincidence.

What is annoying about all of those things is that they are all systems of control: IRS obvious- taxes, 401K - there shouldn't be taxes for investments at all, health insurance - again control - we can't have cheap health insurance because companies pay for it, at any price.

Also: How do I sign an NDA?

An NDA is almost certainly useless if you find a job that is willingly to hire you without verifying your government identity.

The buyer of your labor could pay your health insurance directly, or reimburse you for it. For the purposes of anything official, you are unemployed. You would not get any retirement options. Your earnings would not be reported to the IRS.

Your government could say it's illegal to receive money under these circumstances, and they basically do. But think about what that means.

> Your government could say it's illegal to receive money under these circumstances, and they basically do. But think about what that means.

That you're committing tax fraud and will probably spend a non-trivial amount of time in prison for tax avoidance as well as having a significant portion of property seized to pay back taxes?

If you report the income and pay the tax, there isn't tax fraud afaict. Eligibility verification if the work is in the US might be a different matter.

> For the purposes of anything official, you are unemployed. You would not get any retirement options. Your earnings would not be reported to the IRS.

That's called "job fraud," and it's a crime in most countries.

Really? If I were living in the US and I pay a guy to pull the weeds in my garden it's "job fraud"? I'm not a lawyer, but that's not a crime in any country I've lived in. Which countries is that a crime in?

Yes, it is. Tax authorities don’t really care about petty versions of it (like your example of a gardener), but they do care if you’re effectively a FTE being paid under the table.

(The gardener might also be filing 1099s or the equivalent without you knowing, but that doesn’t seem likely.)

woodruffw is right, you have to come to terms with the fact that a gov by default is made up of lowlifes. It actually gets worse, legally if you do not pay the guy who pulled weeds, you have to pay the tax on what his services would have been worth in the market. Well - it's true of Canada also :). Bonjour!

I remember reading in the last year about one of the crypto companies that hired an anonymous employee. (Maybe it was the Zcash Foundation? I can't for the life of me find the article about what they did.)

Basically, they kept as low as possible the number of people who knew their real identity. That person or persons would verify employment and file the appropriate paperwork.

Yes! And I think that's an important point to consider. Personally I think of "anon friendly" as existing on a spectrum. Organizations offer various degrees of it. Some "anon friendly lite" organizations will allow you to work pseudonymously, the entire organization doesn't need to know your legal identity, but certain personnel (like execs/HR) will. On the other end of the spectrum are organizations that offer "full anon friendly" where they don't request any information about your legal identity.

> On the other end of the spectrum are organizations that offer "full anon friendly" where they don't request any information about your legal identity.

I don't think that'd be legal in the US. Employer has to at least verify that the person is allowed to work in the US (i.e. a citizen, permanent resident, or a legal alien with some work visa) which requires revealing employee's true identity to HR. Or do you think there is a way to perform this (and other tax regulations) without HR knowing the identity of the person?

Do it as business to business - IBM hires Proglonox to do whatever, and Proglonox verifies the required documents and reports income as necessary for the employee.

The employee happens to be the sole owner of Proglonox, but IBM never needs to know the details about that.

In general if the government gets their cut, they don't care about shell games. It's only when using them to hide from them that they get interested.

If you were a normal business then sure, you might well be officially incorporated in America.

But what if you were intending to build something more like Silk Road - a business, but with no identifiable legal entities involved? And avoiding prosecution not by following the law, but by being unidentifiable?

Hmm, I guess this is merely semantics and some would disagree with me, but I suppose I wouldn't consider that "employment". I don't say this as a value judgement, merely as a legal status. The same way someone would be "single" if they're not married (even though they live with a partner), if they work for an organization that do not report to respective country's sovereign authorities, that doesn't sound like an "employment".

Shell corporation and contracts instead of employment.

I think in the past decade there has been some crackdown on shell corporations in the US. It is still very easy and cheap to start a corporation in some states but there has to be ownership disclosure. OTOH, money moves around without a lot of prior documentation and it's the recipient's responsibility to report the income.

I can say I was nervous enough about the whole picture to decline some work some years back, because the person wanted to pay in crypto and I felt like it would get me in for tax complications even though I was willing to do all necessary reporting. The person was outside the US, so some parts of US employment rules wouldn't have applied. I didn't know the other person's name and I don't think he knew mine. Neither one of us was being cloak and dagger afaict, but we had met online and the question simply didn't come up.

> On the other end of the spectrum are organizations that offer "full anon friendly" where they don't request any information about your legal identity.

Have an example, besides jobs that are completely in-person and pay is done in cash/without government reporting?

> I remember reading in the last year about one of the crypto companies that hired an anonymous employee.

Maybe "Sifu" of DeFi protocol Wonderland[0], or "UmbralUpsilon" of Indexed Finance[1], to take just a couple of examples.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30120762

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31478795

Certainly in the UK you're required to do both, and in most cases that will involve your passport or biometric residence permit.

I have trouble seeing why a company would contract with a party they can't sue in the event of non-performance, unless they're a much cheaper/better option.

Even for small freelance jobs in the US, I've always had to provide a social security number to get paid. Sure, as an individual, I could pay you some amount of cash under the table but a company can't really legitimately do that.

As others have said, that doesn't mean you can't go by a "pen name" if you like assuming the company is reasonably flexible with email addresses, employee directories, etc.

I would suspect you would not be considered an employee but a contractor. I am not sure how they much they're required to report about their vendors.

In the U.S. at least, you are still legally required to report the legal identity of any contractor to the IRS and must ask them to fill out an I-9 form: https://www.uscis.gov/i-9-central/complete-and-correct-form-...

Any contractor making >= $600 have to fill the payment and they receive a 1099.

There are very few exceptions to that and they are listed in the article.

(not from the article) but from a quick google search...

"businesses that contract with S Corps do not need to issue them a Form 1099-MISC"

I'm an s-corp, and yet I still have people 1099ing me. It's more annoying than anything because I get all my tax stuff done quickly, and someone will send out a late 1099 with slightly different numbers (typically error on their end) and... I've just given up caring about that.

"You don't send 1099s to your landscaping service, or your office supply store purchases, or the energy company, but you've contracted services with them." "Oh, but you're a person"... with an s-corp registered for 10+ years and a separate employer TIN.

You are required to solicit the taxpayer identification of anyone for whom you are required to file a 1099-NEC form--this is normally done on Form W-9.

If the contractor fails to furnish a TIN, you are not required to cease business with them, however you will likely have to respond to the IRS and show that they refused to tell you when you file the 1099s each year.

The IRS can assess a $50 civil penalty against the contractor (doubt they bother due to low amount set in statute), but more importantly the employer must withhold 30% backup withholding due to the failure to provide TIN. The employer will have to report the income and withholding on their tax return, which will likely be held up while the IRS verifies the match.

I-9/E-Verify is for employees of your entity only and is not completed for independent contractors, nor for temp/contract labor who is employed by a different company (they do the form).

Half of what you said supports the comment you're replying to, and half of it is irrelevant.

The part about I-9 compliance directly contradicts the parent comment which stated, "any contractor . . . and must ask them to fill out an I-9 form."

The part about the 1099 reporting does agree with the parent comment, however, added some additional context about what happens if the contractor refuses and what exactly the business's responsibility is, which I thought was relevant to this discussion.

Thats interesting. I have contracted with multiple entities in the US for many years and they never asked for anything like that.

I think what they meant to say is the legal entity, rather than identity; a LLC or other business formation should suffice for most reporting requirements. There may be some exceptions in some areas, but I've contracted with with thousands of entities and never once had to verify the identity of their employees unless it was for individual access (passes/badges, etc.).

So basically any real job?

If you are located outside of the USA then they are not required to gather this info.

However if they believe you are a USA citizen or reside in the USA while doing the work, then they are supposed to.

"Oh say, can you see ... Land of the free"

How ridiculous is this? Do you really have a right to free association if you have to file a report if you pay someone $600 to do something for you?

> Do you really have a right to free association if you have to file a report if you pay someone $600 to do something for you?

Yes, you do.

How much is that worth if you aren't legally allowed to give anyone any money?

No rights are absolute, they all have limitations when they impede on other rights. A history of unfair labor practices has established a precedent of limitations on "free association." Even the right to life has limitations in the US, if a judge finds you sufficiently heinous.

I'm not trying to advocate for some absolute freedom of action here. I'm saying it is, in my view, unreasonable that anyone who pays someone else a grand to do something suddenly has an obligation to report that to the government.

To me, it seems excessive, and incompatible with the principles of a generally free society. I'm not convinced that any history of unfair labor practice justifies such reporting obligations, which imply some obligation to refuse to accept payment in exchange for performing some perfectly legal work. It seems to be that the purpose of this requirement is the convenience of enforcement of tax compliance and nothing more.

> I'm saying it is, in my view, unreasonable that anyone who pays someone else a grand to do something suddenly has an obligation to report that to the government.

Anyone doesn't have to do this; businesses have to do this, and only for certain kinds of services and business relationships with individuals or partnerships. (e.g., my publisher has to send a 1099 to me, one of their authors, but doesn't need to send a 1099 to Ingram, their printing company.)

> It seems to be that the purpose of this requirement is the convenience of enforcement of tax compliance

I don't think anyone's made any (plausible) claim that any IRS reporting requirement is somehow related to the history of unfair labor practice? The IRS is interested in finding out how much tax they're owed; it's not like they're being provided the data to make some kind of judgement about whether contractors are being paid fairly.

I have a lot of people I associate with that I've never paid >$600 to do labor for me.

Being able to associate != hiring someone for a job

If you need to pay your friends >$600 to hang out with you, you should probably re-evaluate your life.

I'm not suggesting it's necessary to pay any person you associate with. It just seems a really intrusive restriction to legally report on anyone you pay.

To me, it seems as absurd as having to file a report with the government on anyone you meet. I can see justification in narrow cases, but requiring it universally seems ridiculous to me.

> you really have a right to free association if you have to file a report if you pay someone $600 to do something for you?

> I'm not suggesting it's necessary to pay any person you associate with.

So you agree the right to free association is orthogonal to the idea of hiring people to do a paid job then, right? In which case, how is having labor hiring laws a violation of free association, when you agree you can still freely associate with people? In which case, arguing "free association" in terms of arguing that labor hiring laws being unjust isn't really a valid argument then, huh?

Like, I can go down to a park with a group of friends and not have to tell the government about it. I can attend a church and practice and not have to tell the government about it. I can have a dinner party at my home with my friends and not have to tell the government about it. I can freely associate with whoever I want, that's not a crime.

I can't hire a bunch of people who are not legally allowed to work in this country, as currently the government wants to disincentive unrestricted immigration and have made this action of paying people for labor they deem improper illegal. This is an immigration policy, not a free association policy. FWIW, I'm one to argue we should relax some hiring practices and reduce barriers to immigration in many ways, but this really isn't a "free association" kind of issue.

You can even give hundreds or thousands of dollars to people as gifts without reporting requirements.

The requirements kick in when people are trying to avoid paying social security tax, basically, or paying for work under the table.

In the US and comparable jurisdictions, the concept of employee and contractor are not interchangeable and imply differences in things like autonomy and expectations. This is as much to make sure that workers have appropriate protections and that contractors have appropriate freedom as it is about tax reporting or whatever.

Far more likely is that these companies aren't well-footed legally and don't realize that they'll only be able to stay under the radar while small. Which is common, but puts a cap on how high-profile they can grow. They'll need to sort things out before they can scale or get involved in regulated industries.

It's highly debatable and jurisdiction dependant.

Plenty of contractors are basically employees paying less taxes and not having holidays.

(not that I'm complaining, I'm glad there is a legal way to minimise how much the government steals from me)

States are a bit trickier because healthcare is so ridiculously overpriced and therefore people value health insurance provided by an employer. I never even bothered to sign up for the private health insurance I had in the UK and just either user the crappy public one or paid out of pocket, finding the best doctor for the job (instead of what my insurance would have offered).

It's not an arbitrary choice whether to treat a particular interaction as an employee or as a contractor - the nuances are a bit tricky, but in general it's prohibited to treat it as contracting if it isn't actual contracting but if someone is working what we'd call a standard full time job at a company.

The obvious way (mentioned elsewhere here) is that you can reasonably provide services as a business - non-anonymously, non-pseudonymously, disclosing the exact legal identity of your shell company instead of your personal details.

> It's not an arbitrary choice whether to treat a particular interaction as an employee or as a contractor - the nuances are a bit tricky, but in general it's prohibited to treat it as contracting if it isn't actual contracting but if someone is working what we'd call a standard full time job at a company.

Yea, but I suspect these are all going to be remote jobs with people in other countries at which point they're all contractors. It's only people in the same country as the company since generally the thing they're trying to avoid is tax evasion and they don't care if they can't tax you.

Just to underline non-anonymously: https://corpgov.law.harvard.edu/2021/02/04/the-end-of-the-an...

Owners can no longer hide their identity with a shell company after a recent law.

In Europe you'd get issues with accounting, both in terms of figuring out value added tax, in terms of your local tax authority asking uncomfortable questions why you have expenses without valid invoices (and yes, an invoice has to show who is invoicing). The first probably isn't an issue in the US, I'm not sure about the second.

You could try to set up a company to hide your identity, but how well that works depends on the jurisdiction (in many places it's trivial to figure out the director of a company).

Do offshoring / outsourcing companies need to report India/whereever worker IDs?

No, but if the endpoint worker was from the source country (not the outsourced country), then the arrangement would fall foul of anti-tax-evasion legislation in most countries.

Let's not forget OFAC lists, anti money laundering laws and FATCA requirements. These are driven primarily from the USA but the penalties are felt globally. Your employer likely has to get all your details to ensure you can get legally paid, otherwise they may be severely penalized.

Lots of other comments around the dubious legality of this, at least in the US.

I'd like to comment, though, on the fact that the majority of these jobs are in the crypto/defi space. I'm also not alone in commenting on this, and this fact alone is obviously not surprising, but I'd like to point out that the central idea of crypto that you can somehow "escape the government's control of finance" by using crypto is as much of a fever dream as that you can feasibly work anonymously for a company.

At the end of the day, the vast majority of people need the services of society and government to function. Crypto advocates have long crowed "look how great it is that we have gotten monetary supply out of the control of government", but you only need to look at the current environment to see how ridiculous this is. At the end of the day people expect to be able to exchange money for goods, and not go to jail for doing so, and that is something government's aren't willing to give up, regardless of the medium of exchange.

As it related to this case, the biggest question folks have is "what benefit to I get for working for a company pseudonymously". On reflection it's largely downside for the vast majority of people unless you are an anti-government absolutist, or are working in something like the drug trade or a hit man that is shady to begin with.

"Largely downside unless you are an anti-government absolutist..."

Or, the public persona associated with your real identity is so visibly antisocial/radioactive that nobody would hire you if they knew who you were.

>using your legal identity at work is unnecessary, and puts your safety, security, and privacy, at risk.

It is?

I want this?

I tried watching a bit of the video but it kinda lost me with the bitcoin stuff as I don't really think of bitcoin and my relationship with my employer ... have anything to do with each other.

For crypto, this is actually somewhat reasonable. I'm sure this sounds "dumb" to traditional users, but if you are a community manager of a cryptocurrency, you will probably have near continuous 7x24 attacks on you in an attempt to take over accounts or other similar BS. They frequently try exponentially harder on the non technical members because of the assumption that the people working on the tech are more likely to have 2FA etc, while "community manager" will probably have to click any link they get.

That being said, all of the entries on this site are for cryptocurrency/NFT/whatever, so that sounds about right.

It's interesting how this plays out with crypto and not exactly the same / intensity with traditional finance employees.

No, it's not really a surprise when you step back and think about it—the core purpose of cryptocurrencies is to provide for immutable, "trustless" transactions that cannot be refunded or disputed. Instead, these transactions are based only on technical constructs (passwords, private keys), rather than social constructs (signatures, invoices, remittances). Additionally, the internal controls that are designed to prevent one rogue employee from doing anything are much more extensive and mature in the finance industry, since it's had longer to develop them and doesn't have to rely on purely "automatic" technical factors. "Compromising" a traditional finance employee's account might be embarrassing for their employer, and may result in the leaking of trade secrets or other sensitive information, but the actual financial loss is going to be very minimal.

My assumption is that traditional finance money is often a lot more refundable.

FWIW, different industry, but I did a few months as a contractor at two AAA game devs and my god the amount of shit you have to deal with, having a staff flagged forum account with 0 posts, people would go through the member list, send hundreds of DMs begging for free shit, try to find your email to harass you for free beta keys or cash shop items, friends IRL would be like "haha does that mean you can edit my character to be max level"

Yeah, the majority of the financial world has reversible transactions (in fact, it's so rare that they are NOT that it becomes news when it happens: https://www.npr.org/transcripts/1019909860) and the places where they are NOT access is limited or double-checked (think stock trades).

Admittedly, that sentence might be a tad hyperbolic right now, but I do think increasingly it will be the case.

I do think there's no inherit reason why we need to know peoples' legal/irl identities in order to assert that they're suitable for a job. I can even imagine using Zero Knowledge Proofs to prove that candidates reside in certain territories, if that's a requirement that your job might have.

While I partly agree on asserting they're suitable for a job, actually employing them is entirely different. If someone has access to proprietary information/IP/Assets/etc, I don't want a pseudonym and a bitcoin transaction receipt when any of those go missing or an employee used my infrastructure to commit crimes and the feds are now asking me questions and my only answer is 0xPersona that I met on anon.com whom I pay with crypto.

Absolutely! I would just posit that the organizations listed on the site seem to be handling this somehow (for now). I myself would be really curious as to how.

As a general tip:

Trusting that someone doing something markedly unusual is "handling it somehow" is a great way to get some ugly surprises later. Companies do things wrong all the time and in many cases you can find yourself liable for their mistakes/abuses in some way or another. Sometimes at great cost. Obviously, you need to trust every employer/client to some degree, but you'll benefit yourself by developing a sense for what smells fishy.

Unregistered, anonymous work in a world of borders, worker protections, and taxes smells like the dumpster behind a Red Lobster. You don't have to rule out an opportunity that interests you, but do be careful!

Paying an anonymous person in crypto doesn't sound much different from slipping that same person an envelope of unmarked bills to do some work. Which is something people with fiduciary responsibility at a company are not going to generally sign off on.

The bills are much less traceable and petty cash exists for a reason, but the point stands.

No, you're definitely right! I definitely wouldn't feel confident saying they're handling it well, because I just don't know how they're handling it! But I do hope to bring some of this info to light. I think it's an area that deserves attention and discussion :)

I do think there's no inherit reason why we need to know peoples' legal/irl identities in order to assert that they're suitable for a job.

Respectfully, are you extremely young?

Someone near me was recently convicted of embezzling $3.2 million from our local government. Should she be able to work as a city controller at another local government when she gets out of jail?

I could bring up another certain population applying for jobs at childcare centers but hopefully I am just misunderstanding your position because it seems so ludicrous.

To clarify, I don't think pseudonymous work is appropriate for all types of work. I'm not a maximalist. Much of my thinking currently is about pseudonymous work in the context that I've noticed it being done, which is largely in cryptocurrency. Of course none of the people in the scenarios you mention should be able to work those jobs.

Much of my thinking currently is about pseudonymous work in the context that I've noticed it being done, which is largely in cryptocurrency.

Would you want to hire a pseudonymous cryptocurrency programmer who purposely created a security flaw at his last employer and then exploited his own flaw himself to drain all of his employer’s wallets? How is that any better?

No. Which is why I would ask them to submit a resume, interview them, do reference calls, check their Github, check their social media, etc.

I would hire a pseudonymous programmer. I probably would not hire a pseudonymous programmer with zero history or reputation accrued to their pseudonymous identity.

How do you prevent someone from buying a new identity? In the future you describe, there will surely be a market for an internet profile corresponding to a mid-level programmer. If everything is based on task work, a competent developer could farm multiple identities simultaneously, then use each to pull off a different crime or scam.

If they're sufficiently active on social media, tied into the rest of this, that starts to be their primary identity and it's not really pseudonymous anymore.

No employee should be able to have the opportunity to steal 3.2M, especially if that's money that has been extorted under threat of imprisonment from honest working people.

Sure, people may want to voluntarily pool money for some reason or another; I would recommend smart contracts to manage this in a safe way, but there may be a point where trust is required.

Offering a service based on trust means having a reputation-based system (third party reviews, third party audits, third party certifications) of competing people offering the service.

The reputation could be based on a pseudonym but an address is be needed for a potential court case.

There are plenty of services where this is not relevant though.

Regardless of the philosophical debate of whether this should be the case or not, it is definitely not true in most places simply for existing legal reasons.

Yeah, I definitely agree. But I do think this philosophical debate is one worth having! I'm hoping the site will at least help kick it off or facilitate it to some degree.

Hilarious, isn't it? Bitcoin isn't remotely anonymous.

The first time one of these companies hire someone from Iran, Syria, North Korea, Cuba or any of the other countries under sanctions practically everywhere and et hit by multi-million dollar penalties and severe restrictions on how they can operate in the future, this thing will stop being a thing.

How would they even know, if a competitor got hired to work for them?

This might possibly be a good thing for workers, but there's so much risk involved for the employer, any competent legal expert would strongly advice against it.

Might not even get there. It's almost all defi which is imploding ATM.

All of the LooksRare job postings 404.

The rest have application instructions which amount to "engage with our social media", which makes me wonder if the jobs ever existed or if it's exclusively a way to generate leads and the appearance of buy-in. The beauty of anon hiring is that we'll never know.

Hey, thanks for commenting! Are the LooksRare job postings responding with a 404? Their application involves sending an email, when you click "apply" it launches your email client. It's working for me. Am I missing something? Thank you :)

Thanks for letting me know, and in such detail. Appreciate it.

Yup. Feels like if this ever started to suceed in gathering traction, OFAC would shut it down.

One of the hiring entities is not a company, at-least in the legal sense.

How would one hope to enforce "multi-million dollar penalties" on an organisation whose members are all anonymous and manifest only as code and Blockchain transactions?

I hope 100% of the people in the org have flawless infosec that’s not vulnerable to nation states.

Investigators would figure out who owns the blockchain addresses.

What if the employer is a smart contract with no owner?

Or you're saying that the freelancer would be liable for corporate taxes of the smart contract?

haha, you got me. Guess this is completely legal after all

Most of this stuff is in crypto/smart contract/DeFi space…which is currently imploding.

That being said I do like the idea of anon friendly work. Not even for the anonymity, but for being full async. I’ve tried looking for opportunities for work outside of my 9-5 in the past and it surprised me how difficult it was to find anything. Ultimately I gave up and cut some expenses instead.

Most salaried 9-5 jobs have conflict of interest clauses that prevent you from concurrently working for other employers without agreement from your first employer anyway (From a legal standpoint, this is generally regarded as part of the difference between salaried and hourly labor)

Fuck em, that will never hold up in court and they won’t even waste their time suing over it anyways.

I'm an hourly software engineer and fairly certain I'm forbidden from the same.

... yeah not going to happen. There's benefits to non-anonymous employment and the benefits of pseudonymous employment seem to mostly apply to illegal or grey area ventures.

If you work as a blockchain engineer these days I can definitely see why you would want to remain anonymous.

This is a wonderful idea, but the first listing I clicked claimed being anon-friendly while also asking for a mandatory resume.

I assumed these would mostly be merit-based positions, how do these two concepts harmonize? I have gotten anon roles before and they did not require a resume.

Also, it would be useful to filter by part-time/full-time/contract positions.

Hey! Thank you for the kind words. Really means a lot.

You raise a valid point. I suppose you could submit a resume associated with your pseudonymous identity. I have two resumes personally, one for my legal identity, and one for work that I do under my pseudonymous identity. It does present a challenge though. It's not easy to separate the two and either one alone may not provide a holistic and accurate view of you as a candidate.

Without speculating and relying too much on buzzwords, I wonder if you could use Zero Knowledge Proofs to prove that you have certain credentials or experience, without necessarily having to share your legal/irl identity. I don't have all the answers myself but I do have many questions, hence why I built this! And thanks for the feedback about filtering, you're right. Will ship that asap :)

Could I ask if you were hired as a full time employee or as a contractor? Trying to figure out how organizations may handle the legalities/taxes for full time employees.

What's the point in hiding your name if you submit a job history which narrows the scope of your anonymity?

how do you verify the contents of said resume without having enough information to identify them?

I could just take anyone's github profile and say that it's me and you would have no idea.

This sounds like a good thing, but I'm not sure it is.

Capital wins under the current system because the bad guys control your reputation and career, but capital will win under a pseudonymous work system too because careers will cease to exist (or, in any case, will be difficult to assemble) and the commoditization of labor will be complete.

I'm a very "out" antifascist, and I've lost jobs due to my public not-liking-fascists, so I'm sympathetic to people who'd benefit from pseudonymous work, but fiverrization is not the way forward.

The solution is to have aggressive right-to-forget, anti-blacklisting, and anti-discrimination laws, and not only to enforce them vigorously but to go forward on the presumption of employee innocence (that is, innocent until proven guilty).

> I'm a very "out" antifascist, and I've lost jobs due to my public not-liking-fascists

That kind of statement makes me curious. What kind of behavior do you exhibit that has cost you jobs?

I'm also interested.

If I'm running a company that has to do business with ordinary people, I want to avoid hiring someone who vocally and publicly espouses radical political views that many people would react to negatively. Even if they are "pseudonymous", since it could still become known later on that they are associated with the company.

Different people define "fascism" so differently that being "antifascist" could mean anything from protesting against the KKK, to actively working to bring down the capitalist world order (which happens to be the framework in which most companies have to operate.)

If I have radical political views, that's the part of my life that I'm keeping pseudonymous.

> being "antifascist" could mean anything from protesting against the KKK, to actively working to bring down the capitalist world order (which happens to be the framework in which most companies have to operate.)

I'd say I'm between the two.

I'm a radical by US false-consciousness standards, but a moderate by sane-people standards. I do want to bring down the capitalist world order, but I'm not going to behave unethically, break laws blithely, or fuck over an employer who treats me well in service to that goal.

In general, I'm against violence unless absolutely nothing else will work (and I don't think we're at that point yet, although we may get there). Violent revolutions tend to see a transfer of control from the originial vanguard (who were willing to use violence to achieve a goal, but who didn't seek out the opportunity to use it) to mindless thugs who just want to be paid to hurt people.

To start, I've written about what would happen in event of a violent revolution in the US. Mind you, I'm not advocating for it--completely the opposite, because the answer is: it would be fucking terrible and there's a very high chance of the bad guys (fascist "populists") taking it over, even if it started on the left (which is itself improbable, because almost all the violent assholes are right-wing racists). One company, which did about 20% clearance-required work, rescinded an offer at 7:57 on the fucking morning I was about to start because "we don't see you getting a security clearance", even though I had a crack clearance attorney review my case and say that I was clearable.

I also exposed some illegal/unethical hiring and fundraising practices, and made enemies of some high-profile VCs. I don't talk to the press these days (don't trust 'em) but my reputation in the startup world is ruined. I'm enough of a whistleblower that my name will have negative value in Silicon Valley for the rest of my life (which is fine, because fuck Silicon Valley).

It probably doesn't hurt at this point, but certainly doesn't help, that I have PTSD and, in the past--say, 10 years ago--I was not as good at controlling it, recognizing when I was sufficiently impaired to need to pull back from the internet, and doing so.

Ignoring the political aspect, as you're clearly biased: companies will see "whistleblowing" as a bad regardless of whether you exposed something worthy of being exposed. Even if those other companies have nothing to hide. Nobody wants their employees digging around in a hostile manner. They want loyalty, not spies.

You're not wrong. Ultimately, companies are run by bosses optimizing for their personal utility functions, which put them on the strategy of remaining bosses. They want reliable mediocrity, not risky excellence. Variance minimization, not expectancy. The only part of it that's objectively criminal is the false advertising: companies promise meritiocracy and just expect you to have the social skills to realize they don't mean it.

Another solution is UBI.

> using your legal identity at work is unnecessary, and puts your safety, security, and privacy, at risk.

How is it even possible to employ someone in the US without knowing their legal identity?

I don't know generally the use case for this though I remember seeing the most brilliant person I've ever encountered (a forum long ago) enquiring if a job enabled people to work anonymously; he was very cautious with his identity.

I do think it makes sense in this day and age - with pseudonymous discourse long established online - for people to be able to work anonymously within reason (constrained by accountability and transparency when applicable).

The site is interesting but perhaps a little gung-ho with some of its statements.

I wonder how that works as far as risk goes.

The employers asking for folks to work anonymous, could it be that there's a lot more risk with them for other issues compared any non anonymous employers?

I know a dude who is a big believer that every employer is trying to scam him / squeeze out ever last drop of productivity / life out of him. So he plays the same game trying to squeeze out every last bit of money / bouncing from employer to employer looking for the next extra dollar. There's no relationship there with him, his employer, most of his coworkers.

He's managed to jump from big corp (the natural place you find looking to maximize income) to big corp and run into a lot more bad situations than I ever have ...

Thanks for sharing! I do think adoption could be driven by talent. I could imagine the best candidates preferring pseudonymous work, causing employers to accommodate in order to remain competitive.

I think your point about pseudonymous discourse being long established online is a good one! Most of us are already pseudonymous to some degree e.g. our usernames on Twitter, HN, Github, etc.

How do these companies address tax reporting requirements?

Hey! Good question. I wish I could give you a better answer but the truth is I don't know (yet). That's one of the reasons I built this. I want to learn how organizations deal with things like that, and share that knowledge so we can create best practices. I promise that soon as I know the answer, I'll circle back!

Maybe your company/service can be the middle-man. Offer varying levels of checks that are optional for the employer to require or the Contractor to fill out.

Identity as a service.

Have things like "This person is authorized to work for U.S. Companies", "This person is certified in x."

Your company would check the verification and make sure it's valid but then delete the supporting documentation or anything identifying.

Never give any of the supporting documentation to the companies, just give them access to see basically checkmarks that show they fulfill x arbritrary requirements.

But only if the applicant actually applies to the job, to prevent metadata scraping.

Thank you so much for your suggestions, lajamerr. Really means a lot to me. Those are all brilliant ideas.

That's actually the direction I'm hoping to take it. Ultimately, the goal is to accelerate the advent of the pseudonymous economy. And one aspect of that involves creating the necessary tools/ecosystem for employers to accurately verify/assess pseudonymous talent. I'd thought about verifying skills but your suggestion of verifying things like "This person is authorized to work for U.S. Companies" is even more interesting to me.

Thanks again. You've really encouraged me. Your comment has made my day!

> Maybe your company/service can be the middle-man. Offer varying levels of checks that are optional for the employer to require or the Contractor to fill out.

> Identity as a service.

This is a great idea. I know people who would pay good money for a pseudoidentity that presents them as authorized to work in US, with expertise in some key technical areas (cryptography, robotics, real-time monitoring and response, etc.). There is a huge opportunity here.

Thank you so much for your affirmation of that idea, warkdarrior. Your comment is really encouraging.

Forgive me if this is too bold but is there any way you could connect me with those people? Or perhaps let me know where I should be looking for the people with that need e.g. any communities online.

These are the people I'm building for :)

At that point, you're like 95% of the way to reinventing temp agencies.

Make the max job size $600 and the contracting company technically won’t need to send a 1099…

If they’re in the US*

1099 contractors handle all their own taxes iirc, but I guess you can’t be anonymous and receive a 1099? Guessing most of these actually pay in cryptocurrencies which puts the onus on the individual I guess, but if the individual is not paying taxes in the US that’s illegal. Will one get caught? Maybe, who knows, the IRS is fearsome.

I love the idea though, was reading the Delfillama one and sounds very intriguing, aside from the fact that the pay is minuscule for full time work, seems like pay is in crypto, and all the onus would be on the worker to deal with taxes and figuring that out, but maybe that’s not more than a 1099? I love the ideas here in general though.

I think you're probably right, elbigbad. I'm hoping to learn from organizations about how they're handling this, and then share, so we can create best practices. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Really means a lot.

Looking at the jobs I wonder if many just aren't reporting... others seem to promise a lot that would make being pseudonymous impossible.

I'd like to have a unique token I can give to my employer that allows filings from their EIN (and only their EIN).

There are legislations and use cases where contractors themselves are responsible for reporting their taxes.

I think this is probably the way most are going about it right now. Though it is one of the questions I'm most eager to get an answer for. And I have been reaching out :)

I don't think most of this is legal, at least in the United States. In the US, your employer is required to collect certain basic facts about you for tax and compliance purposes: your legal name and your legal status are the most basic ones, followed by your working location/residence (for local tax purposes). An employer who fails to collect and retain this information is effectively indistinguishable from a sweatshop owner.

On the other hand, "pseudonymously" might really just mean that the company collects that information, and doesn't forcefully disclose any of it to your coworkers. Which seems...not particularly abnormal? I've worked with over a dozen people over the years whose "official" name, residence, &c. was never disclosed to me.

> soon most work will be done pseudonymously

Eyebrow raised very high

81 days this article was discussed in HN: https://www.sofuckingagile.com/blog/mourning-loss-as-a-remot...

In it, among other things, we learn a team member who was not even anonymous passed away, and the company only found out when the person's wife created a support ticket because they didn't know basic facts about them.

If after reading that article, you walk away thinking it's a great setup, I'm thinking you're likely very different from anyone I've ever met.

I think it's a great setup. I don't understand why I'm supposed to think it's a bad setup other than that Pete's wife didn't have enough information to pick up his pay without going through support, but that's Pete's fault.

Any story about a friendly person dying is sad. His employer not having documentation on him is the least sad thing about the story.

It's an example of using edge-case scenarios that are pretty much orthogonal to the issue at hand as an argument against people having the right to work and purchase things in such a way that their privacy is still maintained.

At first sight it is a great setup. And yet to take the argument to the extreme and considering unregistered work, at first it seems a good deal for workers, less paperwork and less taxes etc. But it only works until workers try to make use of their rights, get sick or similar, then it can turn out to be really bad.

I think overall it's fixing the right problem (complex paperwork, privacy issues) but not in a sustainable way.

I feel like HN has split crowds on this. I personally enjoy having a connection with my coworkers. I spend a lot of time in my week with them, and if I enjoy being around them, I consider that a win.

Other people want as little to do with their coworkers as possible. Not saying either of these is bad or the "right mindset", but there is a difference in preferences here.

I have a lot of pseudonymous friends that I speak to on a regular basis. Anonymity doesn’t preclude friendship.

True. Another personal preference. That one is definitely a bit of a spectrum. I know my coworkers and if they have kids, but I don't interact with them on social media. There's a lot of variance in there, but to each their own.

Also, how do you trust anonymous employees not to steal?

Pretty extreme example, but just look at the cryptocurrency space which is filled with stories of theft by anonymous founders or employees, e.g. "Sifu" of DeFi protocol Wonderland was actually Michael Patryn of Quadriga infamy[0] (who in turn was actually Omar Dhanani who had previously served 18 months for identity theft[1]), the "UmbralUpsilon" contributor to Indexed Finance used inside information to "steal" $11.9M in tokens[2], etc. etc.

Now if it were charities doing good work with no money involved (either received from donors or paid to employees), then I can just about imagine a case for anonymous philanthropy or whatever, but money and anonymous individuals do not safely mix. Even if they don't initially set out to steal, they might be tempted if they find they can get away with it - opportunity makes a thief.

[0] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30120762

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=30346251

[2] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=31478795


Not only nefarious entities, but the "social/twitter world" has shown us that people tend to be careless and at their worst behavior when anonymous.

If one could program ones code to brick the phones/computers of those they consider political enemies, and could get away with it anonymously and start a new job under a "new identity", who wouldn't be tempted?


I'm reminded of a slide show on the metric system I watched in science class in the 80s. I have a vivid memory of hearing it say "soon everything in the US will be on the metric system" with a picture of a woman standing next to a speed limit sign in mph.

Even the UK can't do it, the US never will. We implemented metric where it made sense, but forcing consumers into new units just because we think it would be cool if the whole world used the same measurements... well, that's a hard sell.

And yet we think we'll get all phones on USB-C before too long

Doesnt this model only appeal to the use in "one-time, short-term, mostly-illegal" constructs?

"Hey Mr. RockStar Dev, I want you to make me an app to rip of [THING]"

"Sure, my @wallet is here and my skillset is listed here"

I'd guess that interaction is very common and not illegal anywhere I'm aware of.

In most jurisdictions, it is illegal to contract with someone for goods or services over a certain amount if you don't have their tax information. Otherwise, tax avoidance would be trivial. In the US specifically, you're required to file Form 1099 for any contracts over $600, which requires the other party's SSN, EIN, or another foreign tax identifier.

Admittedly, in the US, they could probably set up an entity for tax purposes. Their real identity would still be somewhere in the chain but not necessarily easily discoverable by the person you're doing work for.

ADDED: As others have noted, there are probably legal issues with that entity effectively acting a full-time employee. And, of course, the entity doing the work can't get any employee benefits.

Business registration is a matter of public record, as far as I'm aware. Any entity you might set up for tax purposes would need at least to have a registered public agent, and probably a public list of directors and shareholders. However, it would mean that the business you're contracting with to no longer needs to file a 1099, at least.

Yes. Having a business entity doesn't necessarily keep someone from tracking down your identity. But, depending upon how complex you want to make things (and presumably how much money you're willing to spend), you can probably obfuscate your identity from being casually revealed to everyone. Really depends what you're trying to accomplish.

A very interesting market for such is the Elderly Fraud call industry out of Tel_aviv...

Its a BILLION dollar industry calling elderly US population from call centers in Tel Aviv, which may or may not have also ties to Niger.

its BIG.

Some of the companies with job postings on that site seem to be headed by people in the US.

I'm not a lawyer but I think they're taking a serious risk.

Wouldn't it still be possible to do contracts for $599, but like... one for each jira ticket/github issue or something? You could hypothetically set things up to not know who was resolving tickets, right?

I mean it seems like a ridiculous way of getting work done, but fundamentally possible.

No, if you (as a contractor or employee) make more than $600 from the same person/business, you'd be obligated to report it, which would in turn make them obligated to report it, even if they didn't realize you had done more than a single contract for them. For this to work, you'd have to have independent shell corps make each chunk of work as well, which .. is probably also illegal.

What could work is a middle man (ala upwork), but then you'd have to accept the middle man knowing you.

That makes sense -- I'm assuming the company is going to follow the letter of the law, because they are a known entity, but the anonymous/pseudonymous individual is trying to break it.

you'd have to spin up an LLC for each engagement to do this, 1099 forms are based on your entire (contractor) relationship with the company for the tax year.

You're explicitly contracting to rip off another app, and doing so by paying under the table with no taxes paid/collected on either end, and you think that's totally legit?

Ripping off another app is not illegal in most countries, unless you copy their name or logo.

This is exactly what I was describing, you did a better job.

That's such a "think of the children!" argument. Yes I was there for that thread and it was sad when it happened, but such is life. Privacy is more important than whatever this is.

Thanks for sharing stranger, that was a powerful piece.

Thank you for sharing. That was a tough read. Really feel for everyone involved.

I think regardless of the type of work (anon friendly, remote, in person), we need to build systems to deal with these sorts of things gracefully, in a way that supports the people affected and doesn't bring any further suffering or pain to what is already such a tragic and difficult situation.

I wonder what the correlation is between people who think this is a good idea, and people who feel anxious and lonely. Not saying this is the only cause, but if you make decisions like this you'll end up isolating yourself from some pretty great support networks. Isolation and separateness is not a great long term environment for mental health.

Thanks, this spurred me to ask my spouse what she'd do if I got in an accident. Her first response was "I have no idea" then unlock my phone and try looking for familiar names.

I DO think it's a great setup, this kind of thing obliterates nepotism and favors meritocracy, that's a win on my book!

Sounds like a good idea if you want to launder money.

Anyway, I don't think that's legal anywhere in Europe.

Looking forward to giving audit-level access to my systems to a anon "Senior Security Auditor".

You'd be surprised! Some of the best smart contract security folks in the space are pseudonymous and I imagine many organizations would work with them without needing to know their legal identity. One of those people is samczsun[1] who, amongst other things, famously prevented a potential ~$350m hack.

[1] https://www.paradigm.xyz/team/samczsun/posts

In most countries, there are a ton of legal protections and mandated benefits for workers. In the US, unemployment, workers comp, and social security stand out as the big ones. Beyond just tax, it's important that the government knows where you work so that you can effectively file complaints or for benefits of you happen to be working for an abusive employer, get laid off, or want to get paid during retirement

Might want to look at adult industry jobs, a lot of them offer remote work with minimal identity verification. Ironically, that's how I got my first development job when I was still in high school (the employer didn't know nor ask my age). It would have been a lot more difficult to get a similar job at a "regular" employer who knew my age.

Seems to me that _of all employers_ it would be most important for the adult industry to verify people’s age.

Thanks for sharing! I didn't know that. That's actually very interesting.

Just FYI this will get you into a decent amount of hot water, and the company into a lot of hot water, for all kinds of labor law and IRS reasons.

How can you be pseudonymous if you work in person like this post: https://anonfriendly.com/jobs/62a278494d70510878922082

It will be very weird if people call me badrabbit in person.

You must also report to work daily in a rabbit mask. Welcome to the future.

> using your legal identity at work is unnecessary, and puts your safety, security, and privacy, at risk.

Yes. And that's a good thing. You are at risk of being fired if you are a white supremacist neo-nazi gay-bashing woman-hating trans-denying animal-abusing child-molesting felonious douchebag in your private life. And you're more likely to be caught doing insider trading or some other illegal/anti-competitive act. An identity is part of regulating a culture and maintaining the law. The risk is a feature, not a bug.

The really funny thing is that this whole website is now an easy way to find people who are looking to be pseudonymous and any employers that are skirting laws. Should've kept it on the dark web.

Here is a question I have often wondered about:

Say I am running a business in Europe. And one day I need to translate some text from German to English. I go to Google and enter "German to English translation service".

Up comes a website that says "We translate one page of text for ₿0.000048". The website does not tell you where it is operated or who operates it. They state that where they are, they are not obliged to tell you where they are. Just send the coins (via Lightning Network) and your text will be translated.

Would I be allowed to use that service? Can I deduct the expense from my taxes?

> Can I deduct the expense from my taxes?

Slightly different in every country but in general, theres two parts to this question.

The first bit is just the fact as it's an expense, it affects your business' profit, and therefore how much you're taxed on. Anything you spend money on means a lower tax bill.

What your probably thinking of is GST / VAT / sales tax etc. A tax at point of sale, which consumers normally pay, but can be claimed back for business to business trade. The idea being by making b2b cheaper, economy moves faster.

To work with these systems you usually need a registered business, and get a VAT/GST number.I assume this anon service isn't VAT/GST registered, as doing so would kinda defeat the point. They also, might not be collecting this tax to pay on their side anyway.

So no you can't claim that back, unless they get a VAT number.

So this is a yes + yes from you. I also tend to think that I could use the service and be able to deduct the expense from my earnings.

In the scenario I imagine, there is now VAT involved. The website does not even provide an invoice or anything.

I can very well imagine this becoming a real scenario. At the latest when DAOs and AI are combined to provide services that completely live in the digital realm. Without any location at all.

> So this is a yes + yes from you.

No - it's a yes + no. To get the VAT portion of your tax bill back/decreased back, you need to be a VAT registered business, trading with another VAT registered business, and you need invoices to prove this trade. Its not like the tax departments check every invoice, but if you got audited and you didn't have them, you'd be done for tax fraud.

> I also tend to think that I could use the service and be able to deduct the expense from my earnings.

That's not like a tax break to be clear, that's just not being a profitable business.

Do they provide an invoice that fulfils the accounting requirements of your country? I suspect not, so you wouldn’t be able to deduct it.

Is that true? The you cannot deduct expenses in absense of an invoice?

Any links to back that up?

What I find around the net seems to point in the opposite direction. For example the German "Eigenbeleg":


The Wikipedia page says that to deduct expenses from earnings, the expense has to be "belegt" which means "documented". But it seems the documentation does not have to be done by the seller. It seems it can also also be done by the buyer.

I am not sure if it is still handled that way, but in my experience these are not supposed to be used to create new receipts, but to replace receipts that were lost or document things that occured but couldn't be put on receipts for whatever reason.

While it might be possible to use them this way they might be scrutinized and the additional work of justifying them might not be worth using a service that doesn't provide receipts.

Also, there is this section:

> Soll die Ausgabe vom Finanzamt anerkannt werden, muss dies ein Ausnahmefall bleiben.

Meaning, roughly "Even if accepted by the authorities, it is to be treated as an exception"

So i assume that they would not be a fan of you trying to use this too liberally within your accounting.

My accountant has always said, so long as I get a receipt/invoice that corresponds to the transaction, and the company/country isn't knowingly sanctioned, and the services rendered were licit and bonafide, its all good.

This is my US-based accountant for my US-based corporation, but I'm sure it translates well.

Yep, all you really want is plausible deniability if you ever get audited - you may in fact still have a deduction not allowed by the IRS, but as long as you did it in good faith, you shouldn't be liable for any criminal offense.

Anti money laundering would get in the way, right?

A common refrain is that "crypto is speedrunning the history of finance." I think this is destined for the same outcome: we're going to hear stories coming out of pseudonymous work that remind us why the rules are in place today.

For example: can't file lawsuits against your employer for labor violations if you're trying to stay anonymous! So they really don't have a great incentive to treat you well.

How would you prove to a court that you are an employee of that company??

In most places, being employed anonymously is illegal for both the individual and the company.

I could imagine that even if you were paying taxes, you might be prosecuted simply because you could not prove to a tax authority that the other party had paid their taxes.

Apart from that, you're probably going to miss out on a lot of government and private schemes that require proof of employment - mortgages and credit being a big one.

This sounds like a great way to work multiple jobs at once, under the table, then stiff your employers. Oh, and all without you as an employee having any of the employment protections and benefits provided by your government.

I just don't see this taking off in any significant way for legitimate work.

I’m not sure I would hire anyone pseudonymously except for work that could be done on, say, Upwork or MechTurk (small assignments that don’t require sensitive access).

I would look at the US CISA guidance[1] on North Korean hacker MOs and consider the possibility that the person you hire might be using the opportunity to drain your company of finances, IP, or to sabotage your infrastructure. They may not work for North Korea, but consider the possibility they might abuse your trust in a similar way.

[1] https://cisa.gov/uscert/ncas/alerts/aa20-106a

Most work today requires some level of exposure to sensitive data of some kind, be it related to business strategy, company financials, or customer data. You're not getting access to that as some anonymous internet rando.

"using your legal identity at work is unnecessary"

Uh, employers in the US are required to verify employment eligibility. One submits an i9 form.

For contractors / etc, you still need to submit information for 1099.

What am I missing here - if considering the US?

They're all cryptocurrency jobs? Figures.

While I'm not a huge fan of this idea or cryptocurrency in general, "illegitimate" industries are often the spawning point for good new ideas (see: porn industry).

Could you elaborate on the porn industry example?

Late response, but the porn industry served as an initial launching pad for a number of groundbreaking technological advancements. Examples include super 8 film, vhs, online payments, closed captioning, and various smaller achievements related to video streaming, for example the ability to see a still by hovering over the timeline on a video.

we just stream stablecoins every second https://llamapay.io

I'm a bit scared to ask but... How do you stipulate a contract if you're pseudonymous? Or maybe you are supposed to work without a contract and accept monthly payments using a cryptocurrency?

Every single job posting is from a weird crypto bullshit company. Great.

I wouldn't describe any of the organizations listed as "bullshit". Weird, maybe. But they actually do really interesting and valuable work!

> interesting and valuable work

I suspect we may not share the same idea of what's "valuable".

Alternatively they could be from non-crypto tech startups, 90% of which are working on stuff that is just as bullshit and never would have been funded in the first place if not for post 2008 monetary policy. Crypto isn’t special in being bullshit, this whole industry is full of a lot of bullshit.

The fact that there are many bullshit companies out there does not change the fact that all web3/blockchain companies are bullshit.

Depends on how you define “bullshit” I guess but from my perspective there’s at least profits being made and money being exchanged. That’s less bullshit then a company that just takes VC money, hires people, and ultimately implodes without actually delivering any value.

And even if you look purely at social utility, if all this shit does is provide a test bed for ideas that end up utilized in future central bank digital currencies then they’ll probably have been worth it.

On the bright side it increased engineering salaries

Nowhere sane?

I am generally in favor of more privacy, but it’s hard picture the real-world use of this for anything other than overlapping jobs (“J2”) and evading sanctions.

What else is it for?

I could see it being useful for jobs that make you a political target maybe? Security contracting, intelligence, or journalism?

Or even working in countries with generally higher crime or weaker rule of law. I spent years living in a country where even saying/posting something seemingly innocuous could put your life at risk.

Anyone know if security firms already do this by default? For example, if you work for the NSA, do your co-workers even know what your real name is?

Sample size of one. Bay back when I had an offer from a three-letter agency, I wouldn't have been pseudonymous but I would have been officially working for some other government organization. I also had to book my own travel and they paid my expenses in cash on the spot.

That's going to depend more on what your role and assignment is than just the fact that you work for the NSA. In general though, working for the NSA isn't an anonymous act.

Good question! I'd love to know the answer to this, too.

theyre all cryptoasset related jobs :/ bummer

Do you know of any non-crypto anon friendly jobs? I'd be happy to list them! These are just the jobs I've personally been able to find thus far.

I can see wanting to keep my job secret from my peers, but not from my employer. How can you build trust with whomever you're working with? I can't imagine feeling comfortable sending anything in writing in a work environment to a colleague who has no reputational accountability (both within / outside the firm).

This is awesome. I would be much more comfortable working on my political side projects if employment was pseudonymous.

Thank you! Yeah I think pseudonymous work is really liberating in that sense. It could allow people to be more authentic, without worrying about their livelihoods being put at risk.

Holy shit and I won't even attempt to say this with any tact or grace... You're quite a few years to late to take advantage of the talent you did without any actual plan to pay them for their work. The greater fool concept only works for so long.

Don't exploit brokers like Zerodium already operate under these kinds of parameters?

So what is doxxing anyway? Is the concern that anyone googling you will find you phone number or address? Why is that so bad in general? As long as you are not in some unique position like a famous person or something.

I would be happy to start from a definition of doxxing and explain why it is not a good thing, but I am curious as to why you might not find the prospect of your address and phone number being revealed disturbing. Very boring, non-unique people get death threats all the time online. Even though the rate of online threats turning to violence against random users is demonstrably low, would you not be troubled to know your location was known to unknown potential harassers? Even disregarding physical assault, a potential attacker could make life online very difficult if they understood a few things about one's identity.

I also ask this as someone who is skeptical of the prospect of anonymous employment, so I acknowledge there is certainly a spectrum of perspective on this issue.

"As long as you are not in some unique position..." is reasoning that is very close to "as long as you have nothing to hide..."

The first line on that page is literally "don't doxx yourself for work". You are only informing your employer of a few vital stats. The employer keeps that information private. There's no death threat involved.

Well it's not just your employer who knows your legal identity at work. It's potentially the entire organization, and more.

I think the vast majority of people greatly overestimate how difficult it would be to find someone's address.

If you either own property or vote in the US, its usually trivial to find you via the county GIS/tax database and the state voter records. At least it is here in NC. If you rent and don't vote, it's a bit harder, but still lots of data brokers and other sources to look to.

Bit of a myopic take, don't you think? Everyone but the most extreme recluse is probably going to have run-ins with less-than-savory characters at some point in their lives no matter what they do or how they act. Your personal information does not belong on Google.

I'm not sure how I guarantee that I'm not getting exploited if I'm working without my employer knowing who I am. How do I have a reasonable expectation of legal protection in this scenario?

Interesting to note: HN sometimes upvotes articles just because they want to shit on an idea. I'm not disagreeing here actually, the statement:

> don't doxx yourself for work

could (was?) generated by a Markov chain.

It’s interesting to see all these ideas built around the idea that “more anonymity is better.”

I think the opposite is usually (not always) true, and that many of the issues we see in today’s internet stem from the fact that we have completely lost a human connection to the people on the other end of our interactions. (You can even go further and connect this to the larger loss-of-community trends across modern society.) Developing a real relationship with someone increases empathy and trust; it leads to healthier, clearer, and more productive communication; and it generally is good for everyone’s mental health and happiness.

Personally, I want a less anonymous and more communal internet (and society).

You can observe plenty of people acting like the worst imaginable human being on Facebook or Twitter - all under their own name. I think you're spot on about the issue, but I'd argue the reason is simply scale.

When you have only 5 people in your vicinity you're going to form deep relationships with them, whether or not you want to - or whether or not you like them. It will simply happen due to the fact you're going to be around these people day in, day out. 500? Well that gets more difficult. It'll require some degree of mutual effort to form relationships, but it's still very doable especially as you'll be still somewhat regularly bumping into the same people.

5,000,000? You will, in all probability, never see the same person twice. And even if you do, you probably won't remember them among the jungle of faces. You will never form any sort of a relationship unless you aggressively go out of your way to do so. And whoa, who's this random guy trying to be so aggressively buddy buddy with me? This dude is weird. Let me smile, nod, and find the nearest exit. And in the internet, you're around hundreds of millions to billions.

Oh for sure! I’m not saying using real names automatically creates real relationships and trust, just that it helps. I just generally want to see the internet moving toward deeper, more meaningful interactions, which, like you say, is a big challenge, and almost certainly means some form of making things “smaller.” But making things more anonymous strikes me as the wrong direction.

Completely appreciate the points you laid out in both of your comments, thanks for sharing!

One counter-point, just from my own personal experience, but adopting a pseudonym online has actually allowed me to be more authentic and more sociable. I've made a lot of awesome friends that I don't think I'd have made had it not been for being pseudonymous. It can be quite liberating and reduces the fear/impact of trying new things, speaking to new people, and more.

That’s a fair point. I guess there are contexts where pseudonymity can be useful and enable types of interactions that otherwise might not be possible. Especially in online contexts where you’re interacting with people you don’t know anyway, so using your real name doesn’t add much value in terms of trust.

I’m still skeptical that work is a context where I’d want/need this. But it’s a thought-provoking idea!

I'd also add, that in many ways I feel sorry for the guys who grew up during the age of social media. I would never, in a million years, want what I said/felt/thought/etc when I was young being attached to my name now. And as the years pass I find I can often define "young" as Current_Age - 10.

What if you want a job that isn't defi/crypto silliness?

I am amazed at the arm-chair lawyers here who leap at the opportunity to tear holes and make veiled accusations about something so completely basic as "ability to work for pay." Do people not understand that cash work is as old as boats? Do you really want government record keeping in every day and night of your personal life? You want that so badly that you will leap to the front of the forum with your Legal Questions ?

Yes, health care and stability and proper tax payments are the mark of civilized life. And guess what First Worlders ? more people around you are falling into despair than you realize, because they wont say it.

How does this work given that the company needs to record who they are making payment too (even if it's just a W-2 contractor).

(I'm speaking from a US lens here)

You get paid anonymously, in your choice of LUNA or APE.

So employees can work pseudonymously, but employers have to disclose their identity? Why not make it fully pseudonymous for both sides?

Employers don't have to disclose their identity, it's up to them! Many of the founders of these organizations are pseudonymous themselves.

That sounds like rugpulls waiting to happen.

Anyone else find it odd that the two jobs that list salaries are in the junior dev/first job range?

On a related note, anyone know if there's a site that shows you (decent) part-time coding jobs?

how does this work within the us where employers need to have your tax identification?

Typical Web 3.0 bullshit. Bold claims of freedom and fairness, but you dig deeper, and it's garbage all the way down. It's libertarian anarchy "paradise".

> don't doxx yourself for work.

That’s a pretty cynical and paranoid outlook on life.

It is very dangerous for a blockchain engineer to reveal their line of work.

Do you mind explaining why that is the case ? I don't know anything about blockchains so I couldn't come up with any reason for this.

I think at the moment blockchain is synonymous with "crypto".

Imagine you fell for a ponzi scheme. Now imagine you knew where the person who ran that ponzi scheme was.

The remark is a bit flippant (and feels grammatically incorrect) but the sentiment remains.

Lots of people view crypto as a get-rick-quick scheme on both sides. Even after warnings of "don't put any money in that you aren't comfortable losing" people put in money that they aren't comfortable losing. Coupled with the fact that most of these crypto projects maintain very high levels of community involvement (normally through discord/twitter). Sometimes when people lose a lot of money they lash out at the systems they lost money through. So they turn on the devs of whatever chain/token they gambled on.

Isn't that a little concerning?

It seems less concerning and more BS. I have no idea who would target blockchain engineers or why.

I do understand why "we are fighting the system, this is dangerous" would be a selling point used by employers.

threatening someone who has the ability to intentionally introduce a vulnerability into even a relatively small cryptocurrency probably has the potential to be insanely profitable, and the odds of it even being investigated are far lower than any other form of fraud (for now).

There’s plenty of good reasons to go after some specific blockchain engineers who could do this, but otherwise yeah it seems kind of silly and over dramatic.

If the oversight on your project is so weak that an engineer can add code that steals money without being noticed, all you do is change who profits from the inevitable theft. In fact, if you allow the code to be delivered anonymously, you practically guarantee that smart people will add the vulnerability and steal the money.

I think stronger oversight and less trust is sort of implicit in a pseudo-anonymous model. An attack like I described doesn’t require something as obvious as “code that steals money” either, it could be something much more innocuous that even afterwards appears to have been a mistake. Almost any type of bug combined with a well timed leveraged short position could result in big profits.

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