What Is A Blockchain Hash? Bitcoin Hash Function Explained In 5 Minutes | Blockchain Central


Hey everybody, welcome to a new episode on
BLOCKCHAIN CENTRAL! I’ll be honest with you: despite being a
crypto fan for a long time, I’m still a bit uncertain what hashes, hash functions
and keys really are. The hash has been described as the “workhorse
of modern cryptography” and it is a core element of any blockchain. That’s why in today’s episode, we’re
going to try and break down the hash. Let’s get right into it! —INTRO— A hash is the output of a hash function, also
called a digest. That is because, it is the result of a computation. The computation follows the rules of a hash
function. A hash function takes in a value of arbitrary
size. No matter if it’s a single word or a whole
page of text, the function computes an OUTPUT of a fixed size. So, all outputs are equally long no matter
the inputs. One very simple hash function is the average
checksum. Imagine splitting any number up into single
characters. So, for 48 it’s 4 and 8. Then you take the average of these numbers,
in this case, 4+8/2=6. If you take 1000 and use the same function,
the hash is 0.25. That way, you always get a hash between 0
and 10 for any input. This idea helps compare files, compress movies
and use blockchains. There are a lot of different hash functions
for different use cases. For cryptography, we use cryptographic hash
functions. The most well-known cryptographic hash function
is SHA-256. What are the main characteristics of a hash
function? 1) It needs to be deterministic. The same input needs to generate the same
output, like SHA-256 or the function we’ve shown before. 2) It needs to be quick. Because hashing happens so often it should
be quick. Today we have no issues producing fast hash
functions. 3) It must work one way only. The input can generate the output, but given
the output, one must not be able to generate the input. This is a special feature of cryptographic
hash functions. So our previous example cannot fulfil this
demand, because given an output of 5, I know that 55 is a possible input. In cryptography, this means I have broken
the code. For a computer, it is theoretically possible
to reverse the input, however, the longer hash you have, the harder it becomes to becomes
to solve it. 4) A small change in the input must change
the output massively. Even after a minor change in the input, two
outputs would look completely different. In this example our little hash function also
fails. If I change 888 to 889 the output changes
from 8.0 to 8.3. It matters because otherwise breaking the
hash is too easy. The SHA-256 function satisfies this criterion: For example: “Dog” yields this: but “Dig” yields this: 5) It must be infeasible to find two different
messages with the same hash. Again, that little hash function we’ve talked
before fails here. 5, 55 and 64 all have the same output – 5. This makes breaking the code easier. If there are more correct inputs, your chances
of finding the correct one is higher. However, it also can lead to dramatic crashes
in systems. Although, most hash functions are designed
to decrease the possibility of two same outputs, it’s still not fully achievable. Why? There is an infinite number of inputs. But the hashing function can only give a finite
number of outputs because the length is set. However, we can make it less likely than for
example a meteor crashing into Earth. Then we can consider it infeasible, which
is all we need for now. Fun fact for conspiracy theorists. The NSA designed the SHA-256 and its variants
and some people suspect that they added a backdoor. Backdoors are hidden ways they can use to
break the encryption. However, nobody has since found a security
flaw or backdoor. Today, 20 years after its initial release
SHA-256 is considered safe. Ok, what have we learned today? There are many different types of hashes. Cryptographic hashes are needed for blockchain
encryption. Those need to have five properties. They need to be deterministic and fast. They must only work in one way. Reverse engineering must be infeasibly hard. Small changes to the input must change the
output massively and collisions must be super rare. Before you go, please note that this content
neither represents financial, legal, or tax advice, nor is it supposed to be understood
or interpreted as solicitation to buy or sell any securities, coins or tokens. Thank you so much for watching. If you liked this video, make sure to hit
that like button and don’t forget to subscribe to Blockchain Central to never miss a beat! Happy investing!

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