The world of cryptocurrency is increasingly resembling a surreal theater, where even ardent founders and developers concur with pointed criticisms. This sentiment was palpable at EthCC, the Ethereum community's self-organized conference in Paris, where I delivered a talk titled "Crypto is a Theater Right Now." This discourse delved into the convoluted paths decentralized finance and other crypto endeavors have trodden. A subsequent repost of the talk on Twitter sparked considerable resonance, underscoring the industry's current state. As someone who has traversed a decade within this realm – initially as a crypto reporter for Bloomberg, then as the author of "The Infinite Machine," and subsequently as the founder of The Defiant – I find myself increasingly convinced that what's unfolding in the crypto domain is akin to an elaborate performance, a masquerade. The question that now lingers pertinently is whether the enchantment that initially characterized this space remains intact. Throughout the waves of boom and bust, I remained steadfast in my belief that the fervor would eventually wane, giving way to substantial and genuine use cases. I took inspiration from stories like that of Argentinians seeking financial liberation, a narrative that initially captivated me and drew me into the crypto landscape. However, the journey toward actualizing these meaningful use cases seems to have hit a plateau. Paradoxically, the theatricality has only intensified, taking on surreal dimensions that boggle the mind. Admittedly, the recent bull market that commenced in 2020 and the subsequent bearish phase that has persisted into 2023 did propel the industry forward and ushered in noteworthy developments. These advancements undoubtedly deserve recognition and celebration. Yet, in the midst of this progression, there is an undeniable shift in the atmosphere. The cryptocurrency theater, once a realm with the promise of authentic technological innovation and transformative change, is now showcasing a bewildering array of performances that often border on the absurd. The crypto landscape's evolution, marked by its extravagant highs and drastic lows, has created an environment where the lines between reality and spectacle become increasingly blurred. As passionate players within the industry don their roles, debates and controversies ensue, further blurring the boundaries between genuine progress and orchestrated showmanship. The discord between the initial ideals of decentralization, empowerment, and democratization, and the current spectacle that has taken center stage, is stark. The genuine intent behind crypto's inception often appears overshadowed by sensationalism, excessive marketing, and the pursuit of short-term gains. Amidst this surreal display, there is a need for introspection. A recalibration of focus and a return to the authentic essence of blockchain technology and its transformative potential are vital. While the theatrical nature of the industry may continue to captivate attention, the heart of cryptocurrency's promise – genuine innovation and empowerment – should not be obscured. As the industry navigates these theatrics, it must also strive to rediscover the true magic that initiated its journey. By embracing the initial ideals and fostering substantive real-world applications, cryptocurrency can transcend the current spectacle and once again embody the revolutionary force that first captivated minds and hearts.