Encryption: Hashing

Cryptography

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

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