An algorithm that turns a variable amount of data into a small, fixed-length value called a "hash value," "hash code," "digest" or "digital fingerprint." See SHA
, Merkle tree
and cryptographic hash function
The Hash Is Always Fixed in Length
No matter the size of the message (the data being hashed), the resulting hash is a fixed length binary number that cannot be converted back into the original data. For example, the SHA-256 hash algorithm generates a 256-bit result no matter the size of the original input. The hash serves as a digital fingerprint of the original data.