The Republic of Palau, a nation in the western Pacific, has joined hands with Cryptic Labs, an innovative blockchain research institute and commercial accelerator, to launch the Root Name System (RNS), the world’s first sovereign-backed digital residency program.
The launch is a result of the Digital Residency Act, which the President of the Republic of Palau, His Excellency Surangel S. Whipps, Jr., signed into law last month after passing both the Palauan Senate and House of Delegates. The agreement signed between the government of Palau and Cryptic Labs allows individuals from around the world to apply for digital residency in Palau through the RNS platform, which is accessible at www.RNS.id.
“By pioneering digital residency on the blockchain, Palau is laying the foundation for Digital Residency powered by the security and end-to-end encryption of the Root Name System. Our Digital Residency Program will have the capacity for internationally recognized standards of identity verification to ensure that Palau upholds the rule of law and our reputational integrity. We welcome all global citizens to apply to participate in Palau’s digital residency program,” President Surangel S. Whipps Jr. said.
This launch marks the first time global citizens can claim blockchain digital residency backed by a sovereign entity, and individuals can apply for the digital residency through the RNS portal. Once approved, users receive a government-issued ID, both in the form of a physical card and digitally on the blockchain in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT). As an NFT, the RNS ID forms the foundation for legal identity and verification on chain.
The RNS system is designed with user privacy and security as a top priority, using end-to-end encryption so users control their information and identity exposure. Because it is state-issued, the ID is valid for any identification requirement, such as KYC. The RNS platform also gives users access to future services, including address and shipping services, and digital signature verification.
“This partnership with The Republic of Palau will revolutionize economic development both in Palau and around the world. Palau’s unique angle of entry to the digital economy will enable them to leapfrog legacy government services to meet the needs of global citizens. The world is beginning to recognize the practicality, versatility, and truly transformative power of digital identity – this is a swift step towards that future,” Bril Wang, CEO Cryptic Labs said.
The application process for new digital residents is a seamless Web3 experience, enabling users worldwide to apply and get approved from the comfort of their homes and without having to travel abroad or to visit an embassy. The platform, which is now available for registration, is accessible to citizens from most jurisdictions worldwide. Approval for the ID can take as little as a few minutes once users have passed an ID verification and AML check. Interested users can apply for Palau Digital Residency at www.RNS.id.