Understanding SHA-256 And Its Connectivity With Bitcoin

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If you don’t have much idea about SHA-256, then let us tell you that it stands for Secure Hash Algorithm 256. It is mainly a hashing algorithm used for changing text length into the size of 256 bits which is fixed. The idea of this hashing algorithm came from the US government’s NSA (National Security Agency). The main use of SHA-256 can be found in SSL certificates for websites and also for email clients as DKIM message signing. 

If you have not been actively following crypto news, then you have missed the fact that SHA-256 has initially made its presence noticed in blockchain technology, during the debut of the most popular cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on 3rd January 2009. After that, it was welcomed by several projects based on blockchain. This also includes those coins that spawned from the forks of original Bitcoin. The coins including Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision, and Bitcoin are listed among the top three projects of SHA-256 blockchain by market capitalization. So this is how this hash algorithm is closely related to the latter crypto coin. 

Importance Of SHA-256

Akin to other hash operations, SHA-256 receives input and gives an output of length that is specified. Be it book page, a complete sentence, or even a book itself, the output of this hashing algorithm will remain stick to its fixed length. Another important fact about SHA-256 signifies it’s being deterministic, which means, it will give results equal input and output. It runs on a one-way principle. SHA-256 also excels in computation, enabling a common computer functioning multiple times per second. 

If you question its importance, then yes, it is a pivotal and inherent mining part of the Bitcoin network and PoW networks of blockchain. Note that SHA-256 is supportive of the PoW network where there is a race among the computers in finding the solution to a complex mathematical problem. And when one computer is lucky enough in solving it, then it is broadcast to other fellow computers on the P2P network.

Introduction Of SHA-256 By Bitcoin

Once again coming on to relation between SHA-256 and Bitcoin, you need to know that this hash algorithm is used by Bitcoin for cryptocurrency mining. Besides this, it is also used with the alternate hash function, RIPEMD-160. This is done for generating a Bitcoin address from a public key.

Use Of SHA-256 By Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoin Cash is a popular hard fork of original Bitcoin network, that emerged in July 2017. A block size limit of 8 MB was executed by Bitcoin Cash and later in May 2018, it increased to four times, which means 24 MB. Presently it is experiencing the use of SHA-256.


So this is all about SHA-256, which stands for Secure Hash Algorithm. The use of this hashing algorithm is for converting length of the text to a specified size which is 256 bits. Blockchain technology is the one who noticed the presence of SHA-256, along with the debut of Bitcoin in 2009. After that, this hash algorithm was accepted by many projects of blockchain, which also lists many coins that spawned through fork from the original Bitcoin source code. Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision are top 3 SHA-256 projects of blockchain. To know all such kinds of updates, it is better if you start following all crypto news.

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