Hashing is a method used within encryption that uses mathematical functions to convert data, regardless of its length, into a fixed-length string.
This fixed-length output string is known as a hash or hash value, hence the term hashing.
Hashing is also commonly referred to as “one-way encryption”, as it is impossible to convert a cryptographic hash back into the data it originally represented.
Although hashes are used in a number of different ways, two common use-cases include password verification and information storage.
The length of hash is determined by the hashing algorithm used e.g. SHA256, the hashing algorithm used in Bitcoin mining, always produces a hash of 64 characters.
Common Hashing Algorithms
And although there are hundreds of hashing algorithms some of the most common include:
- SHA1, which produces a hash length of 40 characters
- SHA-256, which produces a hash length of 64 characters
- MD5, which produces a hash length of 32 characters
- Keccak-512, which produces a hash length of 128 characters
- And, Keccak-256, which produces a hash length of 64 characters