So we have our first imperative (one input gives you one answer) shuffle the information, but it’s not in a fancy format (for now, it’s just an ordered pair (x,y). We now have a public key, derived from a private. Let’s swap that information back and transform it.

We do this via SHA 256, which stands for Secure Hash Algorithm. A hash algorithm is a specific set of steps that are applied to information, which results in a fixed-length encoded data set, regardless of the input length.

Yes, this set of algorithms was developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA), but don’t let that worry you. The beauty of applied sciences – including mathematics, is that discovery and knowledge stand independent of who developed them. This is why we have the proofs. If the evidence is “sound”, it stands on its own feet, and cannot be “hacked” or dealt with. The SHA2 family is common knowledge. You can go online and look at the code, and if you wish Use SHA256 yourself To encrypt some things. You’ll find that even a very small change in the input will have a dramatic effect on the answer. Chaos Theory Nice. But anyway.

Since many people secure billions of dollars with SHA256, they also spent a lot of money testing it to ensure its security. Quantum computing is often put forward by people as a possible way to crack this encryption. However, if quantum computing becomes possible, there is a lot of money that could be stolen by hacking the top five largest banks in the world. I’m sure Bitcoin is at the bottom of the list a lot because once it’s hacked, it will likely drop in value dramatically. All told, if SHA256 becomes less secure in the future, we can always upgrade our Bitcoin encryption methods. Programmable money!

SHA256 is similar to ECDSA in that it is easy to check the answer, but it is very difficult to use brute force – try each answer until you find the right one. SHA256 is so named because it creates a 256-bit string – a string of 256 zeros and 1s. This makes an absurdly large number of possible combinations, more than The number of atoms in the visible universe.

We’ll use a different hash again in order to get a smaller output, making the final address shorter. This hash function is called RIPEMD-160. Once we have that result, we’ll convert it to something called Base58, which is just a more human-readable form, where both the zero (0) and the uppercase O (o) are omitted, so they aren’t. We mistake each other, in addition to omitting the capital letter I (i), so that it is not confused with the number one (1) or the lowercase letter l (L) it omits the number zero (0) ) and the capital letter O (o), so that Do not mistake one for the other, as well as omit the capital letter I (i), so that it is not confused with the number one (1) or lower case letter l (L).

And now we have a public address provably generated (in the formal, mathematical sense) from a unique private address. Even if the seven billion people in the world generate a new public key for bitcoin every day for a thousand years, there are many possibilities that the probability of generating the same key twice is almost zero.

This is all just a process, key generation and verification, and then the average block time of 10 minutes. Ten minutes to the math-guaranteed final settlement is worth it all.

This is another guest post by Nameless. The opinions expressed are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.