A hash algorithm converts an arbitrarily-huge amount of data into a fixed-length hash. Hash would be changed according to data i.e. the same hash will be a result of the same data, but changing the data by just a bit willfully change the hash. Like the computer or digital data that we see, hashes are large numbers that are written in hexadecimal format.
A hash function is basically a mathematical process that takes input data of any size, applies an operation on it, and then gives output data of a fixed size.
To discuss this concept more clearly, we can consider a series of letters of any length and let’s take it as an input string. In the output, we get a series of letters of fixed length. The input string can be made up of a single letter, a word, a sentence, or an entire novel while the output (also called as a digest) is always of the same length.
These hash functions are used to keep passwords safely.
When you make a user account on any website or internet service, it asks for a password. This password is passed through a hash function, and the hash digest of the message is stored. When you type in the password to sign in, the same hash function runs on the word you enter, and the server compares the result with the stored digest.
SHA-256 Versus Scrypt
SHA-256 and Scrypt are the two very usual algorithm systems which are used by cryptocurrency miners to verify blocks of transaction data. The system used, is decided by the developers of the respective cryptocurrency. These two algorithms are always included in each cryptocurrency discussion.
Some basic hash rate abbreviations associated with related algorithms:
- KH/s: Kilohashes per second (one thousand hash computations per second)
- MH/s: Megahashes per second (one million hash computations per second)
- GH/s: Gigahashes per second (one billion hash computations per second)
- TH/s: Terrahashes per second (one trillion hash computations per second)
- PH/s: Petahashes per second (one quadrillion hash computations per second)
It is more complicated than Scrypt. This is the algorithm i.e. used by Bitcoin and major part of the cryptocurrencies. Data block processing with SHA-256 offers slower transaction turnaround times, and in turn, time is measured in minutes instead of seconds. It is considered that the data block processing accomplished by SHA-256 is almost free of errors and considered the best for the data protection. Successful mining of coins via SHA-256 mostly needs hash rates at the GH/s level or higher level. That’s why it is not easy for all the miners to use at this much higher hash rates.
It is the faster and easier algorithm in comparison of SHA-256. The new cryptocurrencies are preferring to use Scrypt over SHA-256 due to its convenient operations. Scrypt is comfortable to run on an available CPU and requires less energy than that of SHA-256. It is the reason why it is adopted by most of the miners. Unlike SHA-256, hash rates of Scrypt to mine coins successfully, range in the KH/s or MH/s and his level of hash rate can be easily achieved by any individual miner without ASIC or any additional hardware. Though, some doubt its authenticity and security levels due to its fast transaction turnaround time. But no one has succeeded to prove it practically right till now.
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