Bitcoin to USD
Corin Faife Feb 19, at 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.
What’s a hash function? 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. 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.
Simple hash functions in Python 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.
This will put you into the Python REPL, an environment where you can try out Python commands directly as opposed to writing a programme in a separate file.
Instructions on how to use the Bitcoin Mining Calculator:
To run it, put a string in between the parentheses in quotation marks, eg: You will see that calling the hash function on the same string will always generate the same hash, but adding or changing one character will generate a completely different hash value: In bitcoin mining, the inputs for the function are all of the most recent, not-yet-confirmed transactions along with some additional inputs relating to the timestamp and a reference to the previous block.
In the code example above, we’ve already seen that changing a small part of the input for a hash function results in a completely different output. This property is crucial to the ‘proof of work’ algorithm involved in mining: As a basic demonstration, we could try ‘mining’ with our Python hash function by manually adding exclamation points after “CoinDesk rocks!
It’s the need for this large amount of processing power that means new bitcoins get mined over a long period of time, not all at once.
What is an ASIC Bitcoin Miner?
In order to earn bitcoins through mining, you need to put in the huge amount of work necessary to solve a block — and by earning that reward, you’re locking in all of the new transactions into a block, which is added to the permanent record of all previous transactions: Any crypto basics you’d like explained next? Bitcoin on keyboard image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies.
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