Today's Opening Belle is brought to you by our partners, Eqonex and Utrust.

Crypto exchange EQUOS has rebranded to EQONEX, pulling together an entire crypto and digital asset ecosystem under one brand.

Its EQO token has also been gaining significant traction as more people discover it, though it’s still affordable.

Since the launch in April, EQO has risen from 50 cents to $1.80 with a market cap of $30 million which is still small compared to FTT, which has a market cap of $10.4bn or BNB which has a market cap of $58bn.

As a result, traders have been flocking to the exchange and volumes have risen by 100 times indicating a strong appetite from investors to get EQO before the halving happening on June 26th.

Learn more on

πŸ’ͺ From strength to strength πŸ‘‡

AND the UK's FCA has just approved Digivault, which provides institutional investors with a solution that makes digital asset custody simple and secure.

Want to incorporate crypto payments into your business? Definitely use Utrust.

OPEC+ are in the headlines again this week.

They just can't reach an agreement...

Oil rises as tighter market eyed after OPEC+ cancels meeting
Oil rose towards $76 a barrel on Wednesday, rebounding from steep losses a day earlier with support coming from a tight market in the short term after OPEC+ talks collapsed this week without a deal to boost supply.

The UAE want to pump more NOW (so it can prepare for a non-oil future) πŸ™„

WSJ News Exclusive | Behind OPEC Deadlock, One Petro-State Looks to Non-Oil Future
One of the Mideast’s biggest petrostates wants to pump more, now, so it can invest in diversification before oil demand diminishes.

This classic quote becomes relevant again:

β€œMy whole feeling is that anytime you try to get 13 people to agree to anything, and I have a chance to take a position on it, wild horses couldn’t keep from betting against them succeeding in that.” - Paul Tudor Jones

There are now 13 (+10) OPEC members who need to agree.

So what purpose does OPEC actually serve? Why does OPEC+ even exist?

Some say they are just a shady cartel, intent on fixing prices to their own benefit.

To some extent, they are fixing prices...

However, the oil market is complex.

I like to think of OPEC+ as the central bank of oil.

It's an imperfect metaphor, but bear with me.

Much the same as central banks fix the supply and price of interest rates in the pursuit of financial stability, OPEC does the same for the oil market.

Just like central banks and their inflation targets, they don't always achieve their objectives nor is their influence continuous.

Many questioned the relevance of OPEC when the shale boom saw the U.S. briefly become the largest global oil producer.

Excessive global production sent prices below $30 per barrel at the peak of the shale boom πŸ‘† and the disagreement between the Saudis & Russia sent the price negative in 2020 when the pandemic saw demand evaporate. Β 

Officially, the OPEC mission is to 'coordinate and unify the petroleum policies of its member countries and ensure the stabilization of oil markets, in order to secure an efficient, economic and regular supply of petroleum to consumers, a steady income to producers, and a fair return on capital for those investing in the petroleum industry.'

Essentially, their purpose is to provide stability.

To avoid the boom and bust cycles so typical in the commodities industry.

We can definitely question how successful they have been in the pursuit of that mission...

However, a non-OPEC world would likely be less stable.

Prices could fluctuate to greater extremes as producers aggressively competed with each other to gain market share, driving prices lower until someone loses (some producers fall into bankruptcy.)

Then prices would head higher as those countries decided to take their revenge on the 'winners', imperiling global supply...

Co-operation can avoid these worst-case outcomes, where "society loses the value of things which are uselessly destroyed" πŸ‘‡

Parable of the broken window - Wikipedia

Recommended Reading on the history of oil and the invention of the spot oil market:

Amazon Link

(Marc Rich founded the company that we now know as Glencore)

And some background on the OPEC+ oil giants and their reserves πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡πŸ‘‡

Visual Capitalist

Whilst Venezuela have enormous oil reserves, their production is so tiny now that they wield little influence...

A Timeline of US Sanctions on the Venezuelan Regime
US government has enacted sanctions against Venezuelan individuals linked to terrorism, drug trafficking, and other criminal activities for over a decade.