4NTS Exclusive Interview with Ethan Chiasson, WeatherDEX, Stake.gg
Updated: Nov 2
WeatherDEX is a decentralized exchange specially designed for the weather market: a prediction market built on top of Flux Protocol. Ethan Chiasson is a young programmer and entrepreneur spending most of his time looking for niche tools and dApps in the cryptospace.
4NTS: Can you briefly introduce yourself?
So you're working on it by yourself?
Yes, mostly. I have had a freelance developer help me out building the site, but I’m the only one permanently working on Stake.gg.
I hope to hire a strong team once I get some funding, but until then, it’s just me!
That's very interesting. Do you find it tough working as a solo developer? Are you affiliated with WeatherDEX too, btw?
It can be tough, but I enjoy it. I love the creative freedom I get working alone and being able to see my ideas come to life, but the truth is I would love to build a small and dedicated team in the future because at some point you need to have the right people working to provide the best product for the user.
I am not located in a Blockchain Dev heavy area, so finding developers willing to join me on such a new and exciting market has been a challenge for me but I’m learning.
The first time I spoke to Peter from Flux Protocol, I showed him the stake.gg MVP. I have always been interested in weather prediction markets and weather manipulation ( both by corporate and public entities ) and the global economic impacts weather has on people everyday and thought that it would be a perfect fit.
I am currently also building WeatherDEX which is a more long term project that I think is going to be pretty exciting. Hurricane CAT Predictions, Rainfall and Snowfall, Air Quality and Earthquake Damage; why stop at politics or sports ? The weather can impact so much of our daily lives, from deciding if you go to the park today, how much gas you can put in your car, and how much food is at the dinner table.
I am focusing my attention on Stake.gg for the next few weeks while I launch the beta. I only have so much time in the day but WeatherDEX is getting active updates.
But I assume WeatherDEX has more people involved?
No I’m the only one involved with WeatherDEX at the moment. Peter did find someone who did express interest in being a CTO co-founder, but they have not been focused on the project.
Stake.gg is already a working application, but it is centralized. I am working hard on integrating the Flux SDK to make Stake Decentralized
That's also very interesting. Logical question - why Flux?
There was 3 main reasons why I chose to build on Flux:
1. The Team - When I first met Peter he wasn’t afraid to jump straight in and start bootstrapping me into the ecosystem. Jasper was always there to help with any technical problems and they are good at making you feel like you are part of a community, not a customer using the SDK.
2. The SDK - for the most part I focus on design and business development, and so sometimes the technicals can be very hard to handle and maintain. The Flux SDK was very interesting for me as a mostly front end developer because I knew it would slash my development time drastically and would allow me to focus on my strength instead of spending so much time reinventing the wheel.
3. Why Specifically Flux - I was recently asked by an angel , “why flux”. The reason I chose to use flux ( other than the awesome team and community ) was the technical side of the protocol and it’s utilization of NEAR.
I have told others, a product is only as good as it is accessible. I could’ve chosen to use something like Augur, but the fees are too high and the drawbacks in terms of resolution time made Flux so much more appealing to me, especially as a small startup.
I really want users to have a stable , accessible, and streamlined experience when using Stake.gg and Flux Protocol strikes that perfect balance for me.
Yeah, we totally agree about the fees thing - the Augur fees are just unsustainable. So what are the next steps for you in terms of Stake.gg and WeatherDEX development? Finding funding or co-founders? Or something else?
The next steps for Stake.gg is finishing implementing the Flux SDK, launching the Beta app and reacting to user feedback, and then I hope to seek funding to expand the brand into new market types, IRL sports, data aggregation, and some other ideas that I think the community will be super excited about.
The goal of stake is not to be your typical eSports betting app, but rather a bridge between the competitive eSports scene and the blockchain ecosystem by focusing on prediction markets, fan engagement, and building a strong community of gamers.
Last question - anything to close this off with? Like a short message to a wider NEAR community? Something you'd like to say?
NEAR is important to me because it empowers developers like me with the tools needed to make that bridge between the centralized world and the new web easy to traverse.
The future of the “Open Web” looks bright, but we must not lay dormant or waste our time reinventing the wheel. NEAR and Flux have provided the tools to get to market in the fastest and most efficient way possible, giving developers like me a fighting chance to bring new ideas to fruition. It is this fighting chance that is going to create the competition needed to make that bright future in the Open Web a reality. If I can build on NEAR anyone could, so what are you waiting for!