Jigmi Wangdi

The Bhutan National Digital Identity (NDI) clinched the coveted award for the best innovation in the “Identity and Data” category at the 19th Mobile Ecosystem Forum Summit (MEFFYS) 2024, hosted in Barcelona, Spain.

This accolade celebrates excellence, innovation, and ingenuity within the mobile ecosystem.

Independently nominated by Michael Becker, CEO of Identity Praxis, Inc., Bhutan NDI stood out for its groundbreaking mobile authentication technology.

Built on the principles of self-sovereign identity (SSI), it impressed industry leaders with its advanced features, including a passwordless single sign-on for government and commercial digital services, zero knowledge proof-based verifiable credential exchange, and electronic know-your-customer (eKYC) proof to meet regulatory mandates.

Additionally, its cross-border collaboration for technology design and development and a blockchain layer emphasizing security and privacy further solidified its reputation.

Jigme Tenzing, secretary of the GovTech Agency, expressed pride in receiving this prestigious award, attributing it to the hard work and dedication of the talented team behind Bhutan NDI.

He emphasised the team’s commitment to innovation and creating solutions that align with the vision of His Majesty the King, ultimately benefiting citizens’ lives.

With its launch in October 2023, Bhutan NDI became the world’s first country to implement an SSI-driven digital ID system at a national scale.

The Bhutan NDI Wallet, a mobile application facilitating trusted digital interactions by receiving, storing, and exchanging verifiable credentials, epitomizes this innovative approach.

Aligned with global standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Bhutan NDI aims to establish identity as the foundation of digital interactions, foster a seamless digital ecosystem for government and business services, provide verification and authentication services, and innovate to meet evolving digital transaction needs.

Ujjwal Deep Dahal, CEO of Druk Holding Investments (DHI), lauded the award as recognition of Bhutan’s emergence as a leader in the industry, affirming their commitment to driving positive change.

Similarly, Jacques Von Benecke, DHI’s Chief Technology Officer, highlighted the award’s significance in acknowledging Bhutan’s pioneering efforts and nationwide rollout execution.

The Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) Awards, hosted by the global trade body MEF, serve as a platform to showcase groundbreaking initiatives shaping the future of mobile technology.

Established in 2000, MEF works to advance the mobile industry by promoting innovation, facilitating collaboration among stakeholders, and advocating for policies fostering growth and sustainability.