Decentralized IDentifiers (DIDs) are a type of globally-unique identifier that enables an entity to be identified in a manner that is verifiable, persistent (as needed), and does not require the use of a centralized registry. 

The Self Sovereign Identity (SSI) gives individuals control over the information they use to prove who they are when providing identity information to websites, services, and applications online.

Pallavi Sharma, Official Spokesperson, Bhutan National Digital Identity (NDI)

DigiconAsia: Please tell us more about the key aspects of the NDI.

Pallavi Sharma (PS): The NDI Project has been developed as one of the key digital transformation projects under the umbrella of the Digital Drukyul (Bhutan) Flagship Program. It adopts the philosophy of Self Sovereign Identity (SSI), with cutting-edge technology using DIDs, with three main purposes:

    1. To give citizens a cutting-edge system to seamlessly, safely, and conveniently access government and commercial services
    2. To future-proof national digital infrastructure by creating a long-term, resilient digital identification model
    3. To inspire a connected tech service ecosystem that reaches all Bhutanese from remote rural communities to urban centers, ensuring equitable access to services

In the coming months, we are working to evolve Bhutan NDI into an edge-based mega wallet with three core capabilities:

    1. secure digital signing (leveraging cryptographic keys).
    2. seamless currency transactions (digital tokens, CBDCs, and NFTs, etc.).
    3. verifiable credential storage and exchange (digital identity proofs — a current capability of the wallet).

The Act embodies the following core objectives:

    • Empowerment: The Act empowers citizens by providing easy access to essential government and business services, promoting digital inclusion for all.
    • Data privacy: Citizens maintain control over their personal data, selecting which entities they authorize to access their information, thus ensuring privacy and safeguarding sensitive data.
    • Data security: The Act establishes a highly secure National Digital Identity system, leveraging decentralized public key infrastructure to enhance the security and integrity of personal data.
    • Inclusivity and accessibility: The NDI Act promotes inclusivity, accessibility, and equity by catering to individuals with limited digital literacy, financial stability, and with special needs.