CBDC ‘human rights’ tracker revealed at Oslo Freedom Forum

CBDC ‘human rights’ tracker revealed at Oslo Freedom Forum

The nonprofit Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has launched a central bank digital currency (CBDC) tracker, the organization announced at the same Oslo Freedom House event it hosts. The online tracker has published educational materials and a tip line. It is expected to become fully functional by year-end.

The tracker came out of an eight-month fellowship at the HRF that was announced in January. The fellowship was awarded to Cato Institute policy analyst Nick Anthony, researcher Janine Romer, and podcaster Matthew Mezinskis. The Cato Institute is an ardent opponent of CBDCs.

HRF chief strategy officer Alex Gladstein said in a promotional video about the tracker:

“It’s going to be an online resource that describes the progress of central bank digital currencies around the world, especially in authoritarian countries, and the civil liberties red flags and risks that come along with this.”

Because a CBDC is a central bank liability, it “creates a direct link between citizens and the central bank,” which “opens the door to so many human rights concerns when it comes to the adoption of CBDCs,” according to the CBDC tracker on the HRF website.

The HRF is an active supporter of Bitcoin (BTC). Gladstein has told Cointelegraph in the past that Bitcoin “fixes democracy” and could disincentivize wars.

Related: 7 central banks and BIS continue examination of ongoing policy issues for retail CBDC

According to the unrelated CBDC Tracker website, the vast majority of the world’s central banks are at some stage of CBDC research, but only three CBDCs have been launched so far. Those are the Bahamas’ Sand Dollar, the Jamaican Jam-Dex, and the eNaira in Nigeria. The website also lists 14 pilot projects, including China’s e-CNY digital yuan. According to HRF, the digital yuan already has 300 million users.

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