We tell you in simple words what the hashrate of the blockchain network is, how it is calculated and why it is needed at all
Hashrate is the computing power of a blockchain network. It shows how much resources are spent on mining and processing transactions, and how fast it all happens. In Russian, it is also called the hashing speed.
Read also: Bitcoin mining at home-instructions for beginners
What is a hash?
A hash is a cipher that uses letters and numbers to encode a word, message, or data. Different hashing algorithms are used for this purpose. One of them is SHA256. It is used in the bitcoin network. For example, if you use SHA256 to encode “BeInCrypto”, you will get:
And this is what the phrase will look like “BeInCrypto — the best news portal about cryptocurrencies»:
If you change at least one character in a message or word, the entire hash will look completely different. Well, the task of miners is to find a hash that is equal to or less than the numeric value of the “target hash” by brute force, changing just one character». As soon as this happens, a new block is created, and the miner who finds the correct hash receives a reward.
*Here you can play around with encryption using the SHA256 algorithm
Given that the hashes are generated randomly, you have to go through more than one million options to find a cipher that meets the conditions. Hashrate shows how many hashes the network is able to generate per second. At the time of writing, the hashrate of the bitcoin network is 160 hash / sec. This means that 160 quintillion hashes are created in the network per second.
The speed of bitcoin hashing. Source: blockchain.com
What is the hashrate for?
Hashrate allows you to assess the degree of reliability and security of the blockchain network. The more devices connected to the network, the higher its total computing power, i.e. hashrate, and the more resistant it is to 51% attacks and other malicious actions.
Read more about what the 51% attack is and how it works in our article.
If the hashrate is growing, it means that new members are coming to the network. A drop in hashrate may mean that miners switch their capacity to other networks or turn off equipment. The last time the hashrate in the bitcoin network fell to local lows at the level of 131 hash hashes/The sec was recorded on April 23, 2021, against the backdrop of a correction in BTC from historical highs. The record high hashrate was recorded on May 15 at 179 exahashes/sec.
Note that the bitcoin blockchain is still the most powerful and secure distributed network. However, more than half of the total bitcoin hashrate is concentrated in China, which creates certain risks.
Read about how much China (at the time of writing) controls the hashrate of the Bitcoin network in the special material of the BeInCrypto editorial office.
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