CBDC human rights tracker unveiled at Oslo Freedom Forum.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF), a nonprofit organization, has unveiled a central bank digital currency (CBDC) tracker at the Oslo Freedom Forum event it hosted. The online tracker includes educational materials and a tip line, and is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.

The HRF fellowship, which was announced in January, awarded researchers Nick Anthony, Janine Romer, and Matthew Mezinskis an eight-month opportunity to develop the tracker. The Cato Institute, a staunch opponent of CBDCs, sponsored the fellowship.

Alex Gladstein, the HRF’s chief strategy officer, described the tracker in a promotional video:

“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 liability of the central bank, it “creates a direct link between citizens and the central bank,” which poses “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 a strong supporter of Bitcoin (BTC). Gladstein has previously stated that Bitcoin “fixes democracy” and could discourage wars.

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According to the open-source CBDC Tracker website, which is unrelated to the HRF, the vast majority of the world’s central banks are researching CBDCs, but only three CBDCs have been launched so far: the Sand Dollar in the Bahamas, Jam-Dex in Jamaica, and the eNaira in Nigeria. The website also lists 14 pilot projects, including China’s digital yuan. According to HRF, the digital yuan already has 300 million users.

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