Sherab Lhamo

To commemorate the 12th Anniversary of the Royal wedding, the nationwide Bhutan National Digital Identity was launched yesterday.

Bhutan NDI is the first ever digital identity system based on the Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) system. Individuals have sole ownership of whom they want to share and what to share using a digital wallet, where their digital credentials are stored.

Acting Secretary of GovTech Agency and director of National Digital Identity, Jigme Tenzing said the app can help individuals with ease of use, data privacy and empowerment.

“Users will have full control over their personal data which is protected under the law, under the provisions of the NDI Act,” he said.

All the services present in the NDI app are free for individual use.

His Royal Highness Gyalsey Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck became the first digital citizen on February 21, 2023. It was followed by the enactment of its law on decentralised digital identity on July 24.

Through the app, individuals can avail of 12 government-to-citizen (G2C) services including passport services, birth and death registration, and land taxes, among others. The Bhutan NDI has also links to Bank of Bhutan, Tashicell, and the Royal University of Bhutan (RUB). It is an ongoing process of onboarding more agencies.

Lyonchhen Dr Lotay Tshering asked citizens to take advantage of the system and what it offers.

With a banking system like Bank of Bhutan, NDI users can also retrieve their Customer Information Form (CIF) ID number and bank details, through the bank portal, securely ensuring the protection of personal data.

Graduates under RUB after 2019 can get their academic credentials and marksheets by simply going to the RUB portal.

To retrieve their degree certificate, students can go to and scan the QR code with the NDI app. It will authenticate the device in the backend and authenticate to the RUB saying that this actually belongs to that person. To know more about it can be found on Bhutan NDI YouTube.

DHI CEO Ujjwal Deep Dahal said that the NDI in its current form would not be possible without the vision and leadership of His Majesty.

“We were inspired and worked on something that was never done on a national scale of self-sovereign identity,” he said.

He added that for the first time, the technology team that built the NDI was also involved in building the act. “Innovation first and regulation later.”

Going forward the agency will focus on onboarding as many government services to work with the NDI, including providing digital credentials from different authorised agencies for the users, said the Acting Secretary, Jigme.

He added that the agency will also start engaging innovators from across the country to explore different ways that the NDI can be used to transform commerce, finance, public service delivery and many others.

An NDI official said to make NDI a mega wallet, with which an individual can sign in using a cryptographic key —to digitally sign documents. NDI is also looking into digital currencies like NFTs and cryptocurrencies.

NDI is also working with Bhutan Telecom. Once the integration of Bhutan Telecom is complete, Bhutan Telecom can also issue mobile numbers as verified credentials as Tashicell.