The inspiration for ThetaWatch was a combination of by backgrounds as a tv producer, web developer, and journalist. My experience in media fields made me aware of the value of Theta early on, but my education as a journalist made it very clear that in order to grow, Theta Network will need community tools and resources that put things into an easy to understand format. So the idea started as creating a place that's just a collection of resources that are curated in a way that makes sense to the average person. From there the idea grew to include custom reporting features utilizing my background as a developer.
When I started looking in to the other explorers out there, I realized there was no easy way to save reports, make historical comparisons, download data, print charts, or request new statistics. So why not create one myself?
What it does
ThetaWatch integrates with the Theta Explorer api to pull node data into an off-chain database. This allows the application to run a number of custom reports that users can search and filter for their own purposes. By standardizing the common search/print/download/charting features, it also creates a hub where community members can request custom charts to be added for the whole community to utilize in their own investing, staking, or other research needs.
It is meant to be a tool that grows both as the service offerings grow from Theta, and as the community needs grow for deeper analysis of those services.
How we built it
The app is built on a codeigniter framework, bootstrap for ui, chart.js for displaying data. It integrates with Theta via the Explorer API.
Challenges we ran into
The biggest challenge was not biting off more than I could chew. I have a lot of pages in the notebook for the places that ThetaWatch could go, but for a hackathon I had to pare it down to just the bare essential MVP.
The final product is a proof of concept that still needs some polishing. But it executes its core functionality well.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Honestly, I'm mostly proud of completing the project under difficult conditions. Not just with the deadline, but with juggling a heavy regular workload, managing pandemic living, and other family responsibilities.
What we learned
I learned a lot about where the value of exploring the Theta blockchain lies for a number of different stakeholders. Whether it is identifying withdrawal events or just enabling the ability to compare historical data.
The biggest a-ha moment was realizing that for some reports--especially pending withdrawal reports--tracking the source wallet addresses was more important than tracking the number of guardian nodes active. When I built a chart that overlayed withdrawals on the same chart as source wallets, it enabled a whole new type of analysis. For example, by creating a historical comparison of withdrawals by source wallet amount, you can better estimate where to look at putting marketing or community efforts to keep value locked within the staked nodes...does it make more sense to talk to 300 stakers at the 1,000 token level or to talk to a few at the 10,000 token level? These are the types of questions that can start to be understood with these off-chain reports.
What's next for ThetaWatch
More reports, more buttoning-up of the UI/UX. Launch. :)