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The blockchain network is regarded as one the most secure technologies in the world. This technology is responsible for the advent of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Before 2009, when people heard the world mining, they immediately thought of gold, diamonds and other mineral resources. Today, people refer to bitcoin as digital gold because it is mined on the blockchain network. Miners solve complex mathematical equations to successfully claim bitcoin rewards. There are different factors that make up the complex bitcoin equation and the major one is the hash function. In this article, we want to talk about hashing and explain the important role it plays in the blockchain ecosystem.
What is a hash?
A hash is a mathematical function that changes an input of varied length into a secured output of a standard length. The original input can be a short or long text. However, the output of all equations will have the same length. In cryptocurrency, a hash function is a mathematical equation that satisfies the secure demands needed to solve a blockchain computation.
For example, let’s say that the hash function “how are you” will generate a hash output “I am fine”. Anytime you input “how are you” on any blockchain system, it will give out the “I am fine output” This is an over simplification and the functions are often much more complex.
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How do hashes work?
The blockchain is a worldwide ledger that is created by connecting individual blocks of transaction data together. Each block contains only validated transactions and that is why users of this technology trust it to stay free from fraud and manipulation. This validation also prevents double spending of the currency because every user has access to the ledger. When miners solve complex equations for bitcoin rewards, the outcome of the transaction is called the hash and it has no resemblance to the original data.
When a bitcoin mining system wants to solve a hash, it starts with the hash header. It analyzes the data in the block header and this data contains a version number, a timestamp, the hash utilized for the previous block, the hash of the merkle root, the target hash and the nonce.
To solve the hash, the miner will need to focus on a string of numbers known as the nonce. The nonce is connected to the hashed contents of the previous block and then the hash equation can be completed. If your new hash is less than or equal to the target hash, the blockchain network will accept your answer as the solution and you will be rewarded with bitcoin (or other relevant rewards)
Features of hash
It cannot be reverse engineered
One unique feature about the hash function is that it cannot be reverse engineered. You cannot use the hash output to determine the hash input. If you program the hash input into another system, it will still give you that hash output.
It is unique
For every hash input, there is a corresponding hash output. The hash function is always unique and two hash inputs cannot give you the same output.
It is complex
A hash function should not be easy to guess or decode. It is secure and even the most experienced cryptographers should not be able to decipher it.
The hash is an integral part of the bitcoin mining system. If you are a crypto enthusiast, if is important to understand where bitcoin comes from and how miners successfully gain rewards. We have given you all the basic knowledge you need in this article and you can do extensive research from here.