Proof of Stake (PoS) mining is the activity of validating blocks. Stakeholders validate blocks by voting ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Furthermore, if there is a proposal to change the consensus rules, stakeholders can vote whether to activate the new code or not.
The PoS process is similar to a lottery system. PoS miners buy voting tickets to participate. The price of each ticket is locked in the network until the ticket is called to vote. When a block is created, 5 tickets are chosen at random from the ticket database to vote on the block.
> Get started with the PoS Guide for beginners
For a detailed explanation, check docs.decred.org/mining/proof-of-stake
Voting in a stakepool
We strongly recommend new users to vote in a pool. The process of buying tickets is much easier with stakepools.
Furthermore, if you are not wiling or able to keep your wallet online 24/7 it is wise to use a stakepool. Pools are designed to be highly available, which is why they hardly miss a voting opportunity.
Stakepools are only used to delegate voting power. A pool owner cannot steal your funds, the locked ticket price will remain safely in your wallet.
How to pick a stakepool?
Important factors to consider when picking your pool: security of the pool, support channels, proportion of the network, current fee. Recommended stakepools are listed on decred.org.
Security: which kind of measures do they take to prevent downtime? Is the stakepool software hosted on different providers and on different continents?
Support: how do they respond to issues? Do they have dedicated communication channels for troubleshooting?
Network proportion: it is important to keep the network decentralized. For this reason, pools that have less than 5% of network votes are the best choice.
Fee: pick a pool that charges reasonable fees. Pool operators made a significant investment to host the stakepool. Paying 3% of your reward to support the upkeep of the pool is totally reasonable.