What is a Hash?

A hash is a mathematical process that takes a variable amount of data and produces a shorter, fixed-length output. A hashing function has two important characteristics. Firstly, it is mathematically difficult to work out what the original input was by looking at the output. Secondly, changing even the tiniest part of the input will produce an entirely different output.

Hash function

A hash function, takes any input, and produces an output of a specific size. The process of applying a hash function to some data, is called hashing. The output of a hash function is called a hash. If you change any single bit of the original data and run the hash algorithm, the hash will completely change. Because the hash is seemingly random, it is prohibitively difficult to try to produce a specific hash by changing the data which is being hashed.

Hash rate

The number of hashes that can be performed by a miner in a given period of time (usually per second)