SHA-256 Hash Generator

SHA-256 Hash Generator is an online tool helps you computes the SHA-256 hash of a string.

What is SHA-256 Hash Algorithm?

SHA 256 is a part of the SHA 2 family of algorithms, where SHA stands for Secure Hash Algorithm. Published in 2001, it was a joint effort between the NSA and NIST to introduce a successor to the SHA 1 family, which was slowly losing strength against brute force attacks.

The significance of the 256 in the name stands for the final hash digest value, i.e. irrespective of the size of plaintext/cleartext, the hash value will always be 256 bits. The other algorithms in the SHA family are more or less similar to SHA 256.

How does SHA-256 algorithm work?

Image result for SHA256 algorithm SHA-256 is a patented cryptographic hash function that outputs a value that is 256 bits long. What is hashing? In encryption, data is transformed into a secure format that is unreadable unless the recipient has a key. In its encrypted form, the data may be of unlimited size, often just as long as when unencrypted.

What is SHA-256 Hash Algorithm used for?

SHA-256 is one of the first and most prominently used hashing algorithms in blockchains like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin SV. SHA-256 is used in various stages in a blockchain, most prominently:

Consensus mechanism: Miners calculate the hash of new blocks to be created using SHA-256 by varying the value of nonce in a bitcoin block until they reach the hash below the threshold. Then that block can be accepted into the ledger.

Chains of blocks: Each block in the ledger contains a hash generated by SHA-256 referring to the preceding block in the chain.

Digital signatures: Transactions use digital signatures to maintain integrity, the information used in the transaction is hashed using SHA-256, and then it is encrypted with the sender' private key to generate a signature. The miner then verifies this signature to validate the transaction.