1. Do I need hash power to stake mine?¶
Stake “mining” does not need any hash power1. Think of it a bit like interest on invested coins. You lock your coins for a period of time in order to purchase a ticket that gives you a high probability (>99%) of gaining voting rights and receiving interest in exchange for casting a voting and the opportunity cost of not being able to use those coins for potentially up to ~4.7 months.
If you have already purchased stake tickets, those coins are locked until the tickets either win or expire. You are solo staking and therefore you MUST keep your wallet online 24/7 until all of your tickets have won (or expired) or you will miss out on the rewards since you cannot cast a vote if you wallet is not online. Because those coins are now locked there is no way for you to change the already staked coins now.
The stake pool, on the other hand, allows you to delegate your voting rights to the pool so it is responsible for being online 24/7 and casting your vote for you.
2. Isn’t one of the main reasons for stake mining to ensure there are always a sufficient amount of peers online?¶
Definitely not2. Staking mining cannot possibly enforce that. An SPV style wallet could easily perform the necessary staking by communicating with other full nodes (
dcrd instances) on the network. It is true that the current wallet requires
dcrd to be running, but that will not always be the case.
Even if the software did try to enforce that, you could not stop people from writing utilities and such to do it via the peer-to-peer network without needing to run their own local instance anyways.
3. What happens if my wallet is unreachable or locked when my tickets are selected by miners?¶
If your wallet is offline or locked3 when your tickets are selected, you lose out on the rewards and your ticket is removed from the pool immediately. There are no “redos”.
4. Can I somehow test if my machine is reachable for voting? In other words, run the actions of a miner who would want to get my vote.¶
You do not need to be reachable. Voting is deterministic on a per-block basis3. That is to say your wallet will know if your ticket is selected based on the current block and then a “vote transaction” (ssgen transaction) is broadcast to the network, just like other transactions.
5. Can I run multiple voting-only wallets with the same seed on multiple servers?¶
You can have multiple voting-only wallets because they are not creating new addresses4. The problem comes in when you have two wallets creating transactions that involve new addresses because they do not know what the other one is doing.
If you are doing a hot/cold setup, you can create multiple voting-only hot wallets without any issues so long as they both are aware of the address you give voting rights to.