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Bitcoin Hash Function

Bitcoin Hash Functions Explained - Coindesk

Bitcoin Hash Functions Explained - Coindesk

Anyone with an interest in bitcoin will have heard the phrase 'cryptographic hash function' at some time or other. But what exactly does it mean, and how is it connected to cryptocurrency? Hash functions are an essential part of, not only of the bitcoin protocol, but of information security as a whole. In the following article we'll take a look at some simple examples of how they work, with a simple demonstration, too. In the abstract, a hash function is a mathematical processthat takes input data of any size, performs an operation on it, and returns output data of a fixed size. In a more concrete example, this can be used to take a sequence of letters of any length as input what we call a string and return a sequence of letters of a fixed length. Whether the input string is a single letter, a word, a sentence, or an entire novel, the output called the digest will always be the same length. Acommon use of this kind of hash function is to store passwords. When you create a user account with any web service which requires a password, the password isrun through a hash function, and the hash digest of the message is stored. When you type in your password to log in, the same hash function is run on the word you've entered, and the server checks whether the result matches the stored digest. This means that if a hacker is able to access the database containing the stored hashes, they will not be able to immediately compromise all user accounts because there is no easy way to find the password which producedany given hash. You can experiment with hash values using Python, a programming language installed on Mac and Linux operating systems by default. (This tutorial will assume you're using some version of either OS X or Linux, as using Python on Windows is more complicated .) Continue reading >>

Decoding The Enigma Of Bitcoin Miningpart I: Mechanism

Decoding The Enigma Of Bitcoin Miningpart I: Mechanism

Bitcoin Miners solve puzzle and winBitcoins Decoding the enigma of Bitcoin Mining Part I: Mechanism Bitcoin miners is somewhat a misleading term. The miners are actually book-keepers and validators of the network. It is called as Mining because the algorithm somewhat approximates the declining supply of gold and the miner wins an award (which are the new bitcoins created) for their effort. Bitcoin miners run a software program (which is the Bitcoin client ) on their host machine. In the very initial days it could be done even from a laptop but nowadays you need expensive and dedicated machines worth thousands of dollars and very high processing power. Book-keeping: The bitcoin client downloads and syncs in real time the entire blockchain of the bitcoin network. Hence the miners are called as book-keepers as the blockchain has list of every transaction processed by the network. Network guardians: Miners also safeguard the network against hacks and validate each transaction. Bitcoin mining gives a probabilistic solution to Byzantines General problem with the underlying assumption that at least 51% of the miners are honest. Settlement and clearing: The bitcoin network works as a settlement and clearing house for all the transactions without depending on any 3rd party service. Creation of new bitcoins: As discussed in the Monetary policy of Bitcoin , 12.5 Bitcoins are created out of thin air every 10 minutes. This is the incentive for contributing processing power and keeping the network safe. It is important to understand that the primary function of mining is not for the reward, but rather keeping the network safe and executing transactions smoothly. Infographic of Bitcoin mining made with oodles of . Image with me. Ask permission to use this infographic. I have already Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Mining The Hard Way: The Algorithms, Protocols, And Bytes

Bitcoin Mining The Hard Way: The Algorithms, Protocols, And Bytes

Xerox Alto restoration, IC reverse engineering, chargers, and whatever Bitcoin mining the hard way: the algorithms, protocols, and bytes This article explains Bitcoin mining in details, right down to the hex data and network traffic.If you've ever wondered what really happens in Bitcoin mining, you've come to the right place.My previous article, Bitcoins the hard way described how I manually created a Bitcoin transaction and sent it into the system. In this article, I show what happens next: how a transaction gets mined into a block. Bitcoin mining is often thought of as the way to create new bitcoins. But that's really just a secondary purpose.The primary importance of mining is to ensure that all participants have a consistent view of the Bitcoin data.Because Bitcoin is a distributed peer-to-peer system, there is no central database that keeps track of who owns bitcoins. Instead, the log of all transactions is distributed across the network. The main problem with a distributed transaction log is how to avoid inconsistencies that could allow someone to spend the same bitcoins twice.The solution in Bitcoin is to mine the outstanding transactions into a block of transactions approximately every 10 minutes, which makes them official. Conflicting or invalid transactions aren't allowed into a block, so the double spend problem is avoided. Although mining transactions into blocks avoid double-spending, it raises new problems: What stops people from randomly mining blocks? How do you decide who gets to mine a block? How does the network agree on which blocks are valid?Solving those problems is the key innovation of Bitcoin:mining is made very, very difficult, a technique called proof-of-work .It takes an insanely huge amount of computational effort to mine a block, but it is Continue reading >>

Block Hashing Algorithm

Block Hashing Algorithm

Bitcoin mining uses the hashcash proof of work function; the hashcash algorithm requires the following parameters: a service string, a nonce, and a counter. In bitcoin the service string is encoded in the block header data structure, and includes a version field, the hash of the previous block, the root hash of the merkle tree of all transactions in the block, the current time, and the difficulty. Bitcoin stores the nonce in the extraNonce field which is part of the coinbase transaction, which is stored as the left most leaf node in the merkle tree (the coinbase is the special first transaction in the block). The counter parameter is small at 32-bits so each time it wraps the extraNonce field must be incremented (or otherwise changed) to avoid repeating work.The basics of the hashcash algorithm are quite easy to understand and it is described in more detail here .When mining bitcoin, the hashcash algorithm repeatedly hashes the block header while incrementing the counter & extraNonce fields. Incrementing the extraNonce field entails recomputing the merkle tree, as the coinbase transaction is the left most leaf node. The block is also occasionally updated as you are working on it. You upgrade the software and it specifies a new version 256-bit hash of the previous block header 256-bit hash based on all of the transactions in the block Current timestamp as seconds since 1970-01-01T00:00 UTC The body of the block contains the transactions. These are hashed only indirectly through the Merkle root. Because transactions aren't hashed directly, hashing a block with 1 transaction takes exactly the same amount of effort as hashing a block with 10,000 transactions. The compact format of target is a special kind of floating-point encoding using 3 bytes mantissa, the leading byte Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Hash Functions A Quick Rundown

Bitcoin Hash Functions A Quick Rundown

Torsten Hartmann April 21, 2018 46 no comments Anyone who spent more than a couple of minutes conversing about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general has probably been introduced to the term cryptographic hash function. In the same breath, that persons conversation partner might have mentioned some even stranger sounding words like DSA, MD5, SHA-1, SHA 256, RIPEMD, BLAKE and various other cryptographic hash algorithms. Cryptographic hash functions are important elements of modern information security; they are also the underlying algorithms which serve as the building blocks of the current Bitcoin blockchain and allow it to be decentralized and secure. Generally a hash function is a mathematical processthat takes various input data and performs a complicated operation on it, after which it releases the result of the operation as a fixed-size output data. The size of input data (which is also called a string or a message) doesnt matter, however the returned sequence (hash function also called a digest) will always be of afixedlength. Image source: Acommon use for this kind of hash function is to store passwords. Almost every website you visit nowadays requires you to create a user account, which needs to be protected with a password. When you create your user account on such a website, the password you chose will be used as input in a hash function; the function will run and the hash output is stored on the website servers. Every time you attempt to log into your account you will be asked to type your password in a provided area; the same hash function from before will be run on the word you enter, and if the resulting output matches the stored output, you will be granted access to your account. Hash functions have been used in mathematical and computational processes Continue reading >>

Cryptographic Hash Functions

Cryptographic Hash Functions

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video To really understand what is special about Bitcoin, we need to understand how it works at a technical level. Well address the important questions about Bitcoin, such as:How does Bitcoin work? What makes Bitcoin different? How secure are your Bitcoins? How anonymous are Bitcoin users? What determines the price of Bitcoins? Can cryptocurrencies be regulated? What might the future hold?After this course, youll know everything you need to be able to separate fact from fiction when reading claims about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Youll have the conceptual foundations you need to engineer secure software that interacts with the Bitcoin network. And youll be able to integrate ideas from Bitcoin in your own projects.Course Lecturers:Arvind Narayanan, Princeton University Introduction to Crypto and Cryptocurrencies Learn about cryptographic building blocks ("primitives") and reason about their security. Work through how these primitives can be used to construct simple cryptocurrencies. In segment 1.1 we're going to talk about cryptographic hash functions. We'll talk about what they are, and what their properties are. And then later we'll move on and talk about what their applications are. So, a cryptographic hash function is a mathematical function. And it has three attributes that we need to start with. a hash function can take any string as input, absolutely any string of any size. we'll use a 256 bits in this series of lectures, cuz that's what bitcoin does. And it has to be efficiently computable, meaning given a string, in a reasonable length of time, you can figure out what the output is. we're going to need hash functions that are cryptographically secur Continue reading >>

8 Answers - What Are Bitcoin Miners Actually Solving? What Kind Of Math Problems Are They Solving And What Do They Achieve By Solving Them?

8 Answers - What Are Bitcoin Miners Actually Solving? What Kind Of Math Problems Are They Solving And What Do They Achieve By Solving Them?

What are Bitcoin miners actually solving? What kind of math problems are they solving and what do they achieve by solving them? Earn a master's in 18 months entirely online. No admission exam. Advance your career with software design and programming courses offered entirely online. Okay. Bear with me. This may get technical. Every miner or mining pool puts together a block which is a basket of verified transactions that they want to publish to the public blockchain. Once they have that block they then have a unique "puzzle" to solve. Unique because it depends on the specific block they are trying to build (and everyone's is more or less unique). Okay. Still with me? The have to run that block data through a hash algorithm. Think of it as a trash compactor. Like the one on the Death Star, detention level. Let's say that each time the compactor is activated, the contents are mashed into a random mess of metal, water sewage, Luke, Han, Leia, 3PO and Wookie parts. The puzzle challenge is what composition of garbage after compacted will result in a Wookie head at the top of the compressed cube of garbage. There is no way to analytically calculate what original arrangement of metal, waste, sewage, serpent monster, Heros and Chewie will result in a Wookie head surfacing to the top of the compressed output so the only way to see is to continually try different initial conditions until you find one that works, IE you keep repeating the experiment dropping the heroes into the trash in different order, rearranging the composition of the existing garbage, amount of sewage etc, until you get one that has Chewie staring at you with those doggie eyes. When they get a Wookie head at the top they have found a solution to the block and they win the block reward and broadcast their solut Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Hash Functions: A Quick Cryptographic Hash Rundown

Bitcoin Hash Functions: A Quick Cryptographic Hash Rundown

Bitcoin Hash Functions: A Quick Cryptographic Hash Rundown Bitcoin Hash Functions: A Quick Cryptographic Hash Rundown If youve spent even a little bit of time learning about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, youve no doubt heard the term cryptographic hash function. You may have heard of various cryptographic hash algorithms like DSA, SHA-1, SHA 256, MD5, BLAKE, and RIPEMD. In case those terms flew over your head, just know that cryptographic hash functions relate to information security in our modern world. They are what allows the Bitcoin blockchain to remain decentralized, and therefore, secure. Typically, a hash function takes input data and forms a complex mathematical operation on it, resulting in a fixed-size output data. The size of the input data (also called message or string) is meaningless. Whats important to know is that the output data (also called digest) is always a fixed length. You are no doubt already familiar with hash functions, even if you dont realize it. For instance, every time you create a user account on a website, your password serves as the input of a hash function. Every time you visit that website and enter your password, a fast function is performed on your password. As long as the password matches the stored output, you can proceed to your account. Hash functions have been used in computational processes for a long time, whether you realize it or not. Cryptographic hash functions are used for several security applications , such as message authentication codes (MACs), e-commerce protocols, and digital signatures. However, the advent of cryptocurrencies has brought them to the forefront. The following are important properties that a cryptography-viable hash function needs to function properly: A cryptographic hash function shouldnt tak Continue reading >>

Bitcoin Mining Explained Like Youre Five: Part 2 Mechanics

Bitcoin Mining Explained Like Youre Five: Part 2 Mechanics

Bitcoin Mining Explained Like Youre Five: Part 2 Mechanics In Part 1 we took a look at the incentives involved in Bitcoin mining and how they are used guarantee a single transaction history needed to prevent bitcoins from being double spent. In this post we will take more a technical look at the cryptography involved and how it is used to secure the network. As I said previously, Bitcoin is very accessible. While we will be discussing cryptographic concepts, it shouldnt discourage you from continuing further. Before moving forward we should take a moment to learn about hash functions since they are used all throughout the Bitcoin protocol. To put it simply, a hash function is just a mathematical algorithm that takes an input and turns it into an output. For example, suppose we have an algorithm which just adds all the digits in the input string together. If our input is 1234 we would get an output of 10. Simple enough. However, there are certain properties of really good hash functions that make them suitable to use in cryptography. Keep these properties in mind as they are vital to the operation of the Bitcoin protocol. It should be very easy to compute an output for any given input, however it should be impossible (given current knowledge of mathematics and the state of computers) to compute the input for a given output even while knowing the mathematical algorithm. Consider, in the above example we can easily compute an output of 10 given the input of 1234, however going in reverse isnt as easy. In this case there are many possible inputs that could add up to 10 (55, 136, 7111, etc). However, given the simplicity of our function one could still figure out the input relatively easily. Some cryptographic hash functions, on the other hand, are said to be unbreakable by Continue reading >>

Mining Bitcoin With Pencil And Paper

Mining Bitcoin With Pencil And Paper

I decided to see how practical it would be to mine Bitcoin with pencil and paper. It turns out that the SHA-256 algorithm used for mining is pretty simple and can in fact be done by hand. Not surprisingly, the process is extremely slow compared to hardware mining and is entirely impractical. But performing the algorithm manually is a good way to understand exactly how it works. Bitcoin mining is a key part of the security of the Bitcoin system. The idea is that Bitcoin miners group a bunch of Bitcoin transactions into a block, then repeatedly perform a cryptographic operation called hashing zillions of times until someone finds a special extremely rare hash value. At this point, the block has been mined and becomes part of the Bitcoin block chain. The hashing task itself doesn't accomplish anything useful in itself, but because finding a successful block is so difficult, it ensures that no individual has the resources to take over the Bitcoin system. For more details on mining, see my Bitcoin mining article . A cryptographic hash function takes a block of input data and creates a smaller, unpredictable output. The hash function is designed so there's no "short cut" to get the desired outputyou just have to keep hashing blocks until you find one by brute force that works. For Bitcoin, the hash function is a function called SHA-256 . To provide additional security, Bitcoin applies the SHA-256 function twice, a process known as double-SHA-256. In Bitcoin, a successful hash is one that starts with enough zeros. [1] Just as it is rare to find a phone number or license plate ending in multiple zeros, it is rare to find a hash starting with multiple zeros. But Bitcoin is exponentially harder. Currently, a successful hash must start with approximately 17 zeros, so only one out Continue reading >>

Hash Function - Wikipedia

Hash Function - Wikipedia

This article is about a programming concept. For other meanings of "hash" and "hashing", see Hash (disambiguation) . This article needs additional citations for verification . Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources . Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. ( Learn how and when to remove this template message ) A hash function that maps names to integers from 0 to 15. There is a collision between keys "John Smith" and "Sandra Dee". A hash function is any function that can be used to map data of arbitrary size to data of fixed size. The values returned by a hash function are called hash values, hash codes, digests, or simply hashes. One use is a data structure called a hash table , widely used in computer software for rapid data lookup. Hash functions accelerate table or database lookup by detecting duplicated records in a large file. An example is finding similar stretches in DNA sequences. They are also useful in cryptography . A cryptographic hash function allows one to easily verify that some input data maps to a given hash value, but if the input data is unknown, it is deliberately difficult to reconstruct it (or equivalent alternatives) by knowing the stored hash value. This is used for assuring integrity of transmitted data, and is the building block for HMACs , which provide message authentication . Hash functions are related to (and often confused with) checksums , check digits , fingerprints , lossy compression , randomization functions , error-correcting codes, and ciphers. Although these concepts overlap to some extent, each has its own uses and requirements and is designed and optimized differently. The HashKeeper database maintained by the American National Drug Intelligence Center, for instance, is more aptly des Continue reading >>

Mining Theory - Understanding The Hash Function - Bitcoin Stack Exchange

Mining Theory - Understanding The Hash Function - Bitcoin Stack Exchange

Can someone please explain in detail the components of the final hash that determines the winner of the block? My understanding is that the miners are taking A nonce that the miner's have to guess in order for the hash of all these components, using Sha256, to have at least 18 leading zeros. Can someone explain what the other components are and what order they are input into the hash function? Using the data available on blockchain.info about each block, can I recreate the winning hash by inputing the same data into a Sha256 calculator? You are very close. As Mesh already laid out, miners are hashing the following data: HashPrevBlock (this hash gets reversed, and then every two bytes are flipped) HashMerkleRoot (this hash gets reversed, and then every two bytes are flipped) nTime (must be converted to hex e.g 358b0553) This info can be found in the Bitcoin Developer Reference , or the PDF . Now, to your third question, yes you can! I actually just built a little program in C# to do this yesterday! There is a little trickery to it, because you cant just plug the data straight into a hashing calculator and verify it. First, you append all of the fields together into a single string (after the hash reversing and flipping is done for the previous block hash, and merkle root). Then, you convert that string to binary data. At this point, you run the double SHA256 hash to verify that you get a valid hash of the block. A helpful resource for you to check out it is Mining Bitcoin with pencil and paper as well as Bitcoin Wiki . Both resources have code samples that show this process in action. In that order. So as you say, the only component missing from your list is the version and the nBits field. The version is self explanatory, but the nBits field is not. What the nBits fiel Continue reading >>

If You Understand Hash Functions, Youll Understand Blockchains

If You Understand Hash Functions, Youll Understand Blockchains

If you understand Hash Functions, youll understand Blockchains Hash functions are a fundamental part of blockchain technologies. If you understand hash functions, it will make understanding other concepts such as tamper proofing, digital fingerprints and provenance easier. The hash concept is actually quite simple. Its the amount of jargon used that confuses people. Simply stated, a hash function takes some input data and creates some output data. To expand on this concept, a hash function takes an input of any length and creates an output of fixed length. Here is an example using a type of hash function called md5: It takes an input string and created a string of random letters and numbers a0680c04c4eb53884be77b4e10677f2b. This is referred to as the message digest. It is also known as the digital fingerprint. This is because there is no way this digest can represent any other string. If I try and modify this to I owe my sister $2 the message digest will be completely different. There are lots of different types of hash functions. You can wrap your head around them here . The main ones involving the blockchain are SHA256 and RIPEMD. The number such as 128 or 256 generally refers to the length of the output. ie SHA256 will produce a 256 bit output. Above is the SHA256 command run on Linux. The output is 256 bits or 64 characters long. Count it if you dont believe me! The easiest way to detect if the input has changed is to compare the message digest of 2 proclaimed versions. If they match, you can be sure that the person holding the mortgage title for example is indeed the true owner of the house. Many people ask how can it be possible to never come across the same message digest? It cant be infinitely unique can it? The answer is that it is NOT infinitely unique but th Continue reading >>

By Reading This Page, You Are Mining Bitcoins Quartz

By Reading This Page, You Are Mining Bitcoins Quartz

If you clicked the button above, then you are currently mining bitcoin, the math-based digital currency that recently topped $1,000 on exchanges. Congratulations. (It wont do anything bad to your computer, we promise.) New bitcoins are created roughly every 10 minutes in batches of 25 coins, with each coin worth around $730 at current rates. Your computerin collaboration with those of everyone else reading this post who clicked the button aboveis racing thousands of others to unlock and claim the next batch. For as long as that counter above keeps climbing, your computer will keep running a bitcoin mining script and trying to get a piece of the action. (But dont worry: Its designed to shut off after 10 minutes if you are on a phone or a tablet, so your battery doesnt drain). Lets start with what its not doing. Your computer is not blasting through the cavernous depths of the internet in search of digital ore that can be fashioned into bitcoin bullion. There is no ore, and bitcoin mining doesnt involve extracting or smelting anything. Its called mining only because the people who do it are the ones who get new bitcoins, and because bitcoin is a finite resource liberated in small amounts over time, like gold, or anything else that is mined. (The size of each batch of coins drops by half roughly every four years, and around 2140, it will be cut to zero, capping the total number of bitcoins in circulation at 21 million.) But the analogy ends there. What bitcoin miners actually do could be better described as competitive bookkeeping. Miners build and maintain a gigantic public ledger containing a record of every bitcoin transaction in history. Every time somebody wants to send bitcoins to somebody else, the transfer has to be validated by miners: They check the ledger to ma Continue reading >>

What Is A Bitcoin Hash?

What Is A Bitcoin Hash?

By: Sudhir Khatwani In: Bitcoin Last Updated: If you are involved with Bitcoin , then you must have heard about cryptography or hash algorithms. But what do these things have to do with your BTCs? Cryptography or hash algorithms are what keep Bitcoins blockchain secure. They arethe building blocks of the present-day cryptocurrency industry. In this article, we are going to talk about cryptographichash algorithms in detail. To start with, it is important to have a general idea of what a hash function is and what it does. A hash algorithm takes data of any arbitrary size(numbers, alphabets, media files) and transforms it into a fixed alphanumeric string. The fixed bit size can vary (like 64-bit or 128-bit or 256-bit) depending on what hash function is being used. And this fixed size output is what is called a hash. In other words, a hash is the cryptographic byproduct of a hash algorithm. The hash algorithm has certain unique properties: The mathematics behind the hash algorithm ensures that there is no way to generate the original data from its generated hash. This means the hash only functions in a linear progression. A simple analogy would be that you cant produce a real human thumb from a thumbprint. This is why a hash can be treated as a digital fingerprint of the data processed through the hash function. To logically conclude, the same hash will only be generatedfrom the same input data. But if you modify the data with something miniscule, like a single space or a comma, it will completely change the hash output. And Bitcoins blockchain uses this cryptographic hash functions properties in its consensus mechanism. Bitcoins blockchain uses SHA-256 (Secure Hash Algorithm). In 2001, SHA-256 was developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the USA. Bitcoins proof Continue reading >>

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