To commemorate the 12th Anniversary of the Royal Wedding, the nationwide Bhutan National Digital Identity, NDI was rolled out in the capital today. Bhutan NDI, a digital edge wallet that incorporates the philosophy of self-sovereign identity legally backed up by the National Digital Identity Act of Bhutan 2023 is a first of its kind. The official rollout was headed by the Prime Minister, Members of Parliament, and officials involved in the making of the NDI.
Bhutan NDI is a mobile application, where users’ authenticated digital credentials will be stored.
His Royal Highness Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel became the first digital citizen of Bhutan on the 21st February this year.
It was soon followed by the National Digital Identity Act of Bhutan 2023. Hence, Bhutan became the first country to enact a comprehensive law on decentralized digital identity on July 24.
The Prime Minister urged individuals to utilise the platform.
“We all must know the advantages of this so that we can fully take advantage of them. Well, we are proud to be digital citizens from today on. But if you are not able to take advantage of that, we will still be running around with the files underneath your armpit, which is why we would not want Bhutanese to be doing this. So, I would like to request each and every one of us to know for sure the advantages that it provides you as a Bhutanese citizen.”
Jigme Tenzing who is the NDI Project Director said that a few government and banking services are already on board to showcase some basic use cases.
“It is no longer a vision nor a project, but a digital journey that each one of us can now begin. Whether you are a public servant, a farmer, a businessperson, a banker, a student or a visitor, everyone will use their digital identity differently. But the commonality for everyone will be its ease of use, data privacy and empowerment.”
What sets NDI apart from other platforms is that users will have full control over their personal data which is protected by law under the provisions of the NDI Act.
Unlike a physical wallet, citizens can digitally share the credentials stored in the NDI wallet to avail themselves of online services.
The Chief Executive Officer of Druk Holding and Investments shared how the launch of the NDI app is going to change the way of doing business and availing services.
“A self-sovereign identity with blockchain technology at the back end provides that identity on the Internet. It depends on adoption now. So it actually provides a 100 per cent credible identity on the Internet and hence a lot of the services that we are talking about like opening a bank account or even sanctioning a million-dollar loan potentially can happen sitting at home,” said Ujjwal Deep Dahal, the CEO.
With the national rollout today, a lot of hope is pinned on the app to significantly increase the productivity of the nation considering the ease of availing services that the app offers.