The Development of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs): Protecting Against Potential Harm
CBDCs can be harmful
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) have become a subject of controversy, with divided opinions about their potential impact. While some believe CBDCs are an inevitable part of our future, others express concerns over the violation of human rights. One organization, the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), stands firmly against CBDCs and has developed a tool to protect individuals from potential harm.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF)
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is an organization that is highly critical of central bank digital fiat currencies. Among various activities, it organizes the Oslo Freedom Forum, where it recently announced the launch of a ‘CBDC tracker.’ This tool will closely monitor the properties of CBDCs that central banks and governments plan to release in the coming years, enabling the HRF to hold them accountable for their policies.
In a video, Nick Anthony, a policy researcher at the Cato Institute and a fellow of the HRF, explains that CBDCs are a combination of cash and bank balances. Similar to cash, CBDCs are issued by central banks. However, these digital currencies provide central banks with complete control, similar to that of traditional bank balances.
Concerns about Human Rights Violations
The HRF cautions individuals about the potential human rights violations associated with CBDCs. Compared to traditional cash, CBDCs offer less privacy, and transactions can easily be censored. Central banks also have the power to impose expiration dates on specific amounts of money, potentially influencing economic stimulation and limiting individuals’ ability to utilize their funds.
Fighting Against Central Bank Power Abuse
The CBDC tracker developed by the HRF aims to measure the civil risks and freedoms associated with CBDCs. While primarily targeting authoritarian regimes, the tool has the capability to index CBDCs from all central banks worldwide. This is an essential step, as almost every central bank is currently involved in CBDC development.
It’s important to note that the CBDC tracker is still in its early stages, offering limited information and project details. However, it already features 14 test projects, including the Sand Dollar from the Bahamas, Nigeria’s eNaira, and China’s digital yuan. Users can also make donations to support the project. The tool is expected to be fully developed by the end of this year.
The development of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) presents a topic of great controversy. While some see CBDCs as a necessary advancement in the financial landscape, others express concerns about potential human rights violations. The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) has taken a strong stance against CBDCs and aims to protect individuals by closely monitoring and holding central banks accountable for their CBDC policies through the CBDC tracker tool. As the development of CBDCs continues to evolve, it is crucial to consider the potential for abuse of power and prioritize the preservation of our freedoms and rights.