In a similar vain to my BitAssets questions, I have a few about delegates I can't seem to find answers for, or don't understand the info I've found. Some of my confusion stems from the various contexts I've heard the term delegates used. And if my understanding presented below is incorrect please do let me know where I've missed the mark.
Since DPOS relies very heavily on delegates, it's a fundamental concept of the BitShares ecosystem, so everyone needs to understand them thoroughly.1. Delegate Roles and Responsibilities
Delegates sign blocks of transactions and enter them into the blockchain ledger
The particular delegate that signs a block is chosen from the 101 in (random | round robin)? order.
This is analogous to bitcoin PoW mining, but instead of a computationally difficult task being performed by many nodes in a race, the winner of which is awarded 50/25/... BTC to sign a block, the signer of DPoS blocks are chosen from the pool of 101 delegates and rewarded with only transaction fees, which is far cheaper than the PoW process.
Q1: Does every delegate do this, or only some of the 101?
Q2: Is this signing process accomplished by just running special delegate client node software, and if so is the process fully automated? i.e. when that node is called on (out of the 101 delegate nodes) to sign a block the software does so as it runs without human intervention.
Q3: Is it true that the only human intervention required to run a delegate node is to handle problems like hardware failures, network outages and software upgrades?2. Delegates and Voting
Delegates are voted in / out by owners of BTS, and the strength of their vote is (proportional | directly related)? to (the number of BTS owned | size of BTS transaction the vote is submitted with)?
Is voting only accomplished when a transaction is performed? So the way to vote simply for the sake of voting would be to send BTS to yourself.
What is a "vote"?
Q1: Is it provided as information with each BTS transaction?
Q2: How is the analog / gray scale value for vote strength correlated to whether a delegate is in or out, a binary state?
Q3: If votes are provided by BTS owners with each BTS transaction, are delegates then subject to be voted in or out in real time with every transaction that takes place in the BTS ecosystem?
Q4: How is the voting calculated?
Q5: What about BTS that haven't been sold yet? i.e. if there are a total possible 10 billion BTS, but when an owner trades BTS for something 9.5 billion BTS have never been bought (marketcap of 500 million, right?), then the total voting power of all BTS in play is 500 million, right?
Q6: If 400 million BTS are (offline | in cold storage | owner destroyed his wallet / keys), then total voting power is actually only 100 million, correct?
Q7: How are the votes provided with an owner's transaction summarized over time with other owners votes they may have offered months ago, and in terms of whether a delegate "is in the top 101 delegates" and hence active in the pool, and how does an owner's voting "strength" factor into this (similar to Q4 above)?
Q8: If there were 100 million BTS in the wild, and each owner held only 1 BTS, then there are essentially 100 million votes, and everyone has the exact same voting power. In that case would the 101 delegates be chosen simply by the top 101 votes (i.e. top 101 in a histogram list)?
Q8a: histogram list of what: (transactions? Latest transactions
I haven't even considered questions related to voting slates yet.