One of the safest hash functions in the world is Scrypt. Created in order to develop an online data backup system, Scrypt's high security has led it to be part of crypto projects like Litecoin, which implement it as the hash function for their mining tasks.

Unot of algorithms or hash functions best known in the world of cryptocurrencies es Scrypt. The use of this algorithm in the development of cryptocurrencies is related to looking for safer options when SHA-256 hash Used by Bitcoin. As a result, various cryptocurrency projects such as Litecoin They used this new hash function with excellent results.

But Scrypt's story is very broad and exciting. For that reason, in this new article we will dedicate ourselves to know everything related to this famous algorithm.

Scrypt Hash Function Origin

The story behind the Scyrpt hash function dates back to the creation of the data backup software, Tarsnap. This software was developed by Colin Percival, a well-known developer in the world of free software. While Percival was developing Tarsnap, he found himself needing a secure and efficient hash function for his online backup system. Tarsnap's needs at the time focused on:

  1. Have an efficient hashing algorithm to avoid draining a lot of power from the computers that run the software.
  2. Offer a higher level of security than many algorithms known as bcrypt, including brute force attacks.
  3. Be free, multiplatform and portable software.

Percival realized that none of the algorithms known so far could offer him what he was looking for. For this reason, Percival began the development of Scrypt, a work that he completed and presented in 2009. His whitepaper It was released by Percival, who also released the code for it. With this anyone who wanted to use or improve the Scrypt hash function could do so.

In fact, Percival's work later led to the acceptance of this new role worldwide. It was precisely this that led to that in 2016, the IETF will create the standard RFC 7914. Thus the Scrypt hash function would be recognized as a worldwide standard hash function.

How does the Scrypt hash function work?

Now surely you will wonder How does this hash function work? Well, to begin to understand this we must take into account what a hash is. In a previous article we discussed that a hash is a unique and unrepeatable alphanumeric string. A string that we obtain as a result of a complex mathematical and algorithmic function. If you want to know more about what a hash is and its properties, we invite you to read this article where we explain everything.

We now know that Scrypt generates unique and unrepeatable alphanumeric strings. This according to the data we pass on to you. The million dollar question at this point is what makes Scrypt so different and special from other familiar functions? Well, the answer to this is how Scrypt does this work.

Scrypt works thanks to a known method increased derivation of keys through hard sequential memory functions. It's certainly a complex name, but basically Scrypt hashes using a key, a series of key points marked in the hashing algorithm and adding a lot of noise.

The noise in Scrypt is actually a series of random numbers that are generated by the algorithm and stored in memory. The purpose of these numbers is to camouflage the key data of the algorithm, to make the work of breaking said hashes more complex. In short, a protection measure that prevents malicious people from taking over the data protected by Scrypt.

With this operation Scrypt guarantees two things:

  1. First, hash the passwords so that an attacker who accesses a password file does not immediately possess the passwords it contains.
  2. Second, to generate cryptographic keys that will be used to encrypt or authenticate data.

Scrypt Hash Feature

The above explained allows the Scrypt function to get quite unique features. Among them we can mention:

  1. It is an efficient algorithm. The Scrypt function has a minimal workload compared to the complexity of the work it does. The use of a key, a set of points of points or jumps, parallelization of the process, generation of random numbers as well as the ability to adjust the values ​​of the function allow Scrypt a high degree of efficiency without sacrificing security.
  2. It offers high levels of security. Scrypt is an algorithm with a high level of security, in fact, the security level is adjustable. The algorithm is designed so that the programmer can increase or decrease various variables that impact in this regard. But in addition to this, the algorithm offers high resistance to brute force attacks, making it perfect for distributed systems where security is essential.
  3. ASIC and FPGA resistance. One of the reasons why cryptocurrencies like Litecoin got fixed on Scrypt was because of its ability to hinder implementations. ASIC o FPGA. This means that Scrypt makes it more difficult to develop miners of this type. Not only more difficult, but also less efficient in terms of computing power in relation to the electrical power consumed. As a result, cryptocurrency projects using Scrypt sought to protect the decentralization of their networks. However in 2013 the first ASIC for scrypt was introduced and since then this type of hardware started to underpin cryptocurrency mining based on this hash.

Cryptocurrencies that implement Scrypt for their consensus protocols

Since the emergence of the Scrypt algorithm, many cryptocurrencies have used it to implement them within their PoW consensus protocols. Among this group of cryptocurrencies we can mention:

  1. Litecoin - LTC
  2. Dogecoin - DOGE
  3. Syscoin - SYS
  4. Monacoin - MONA

You can get a more complete and updated list in this site.

How much do you know, cryptonuta?

Scrypt still considers me as an ASIC-resistant algorithm?

FALSE!

The scrypt algorithm is no longer resistant to ASICs because nowadays it is not only possible to build it, but there are well-known methods to increase their efficiency. So right now, scrypt is no longer considered to be ASIC, FPGA or GPU resistant in any way.

Hardware miners for Scrypt

As we mentioned before, Scrypt is a different from SHA-256 for example. It is the perfect algorithm for creating cryptocurrencies with a high degree of resistance to ASIC or FPGA mining. However, if anything mining hardware designers have it is inventive, and today there are hardware miners capable of working with Scrypt. But this is achieved with a high penalty, with respect to the power provided and the necessary energy consumption.

ASIC and FPGA miners are characterized by high efficiency. They offer high levels of hash rate with minimal power consumption. For example, it is common to see SHA-256 miners with a consumption of only 1000 watts and offer power of several TH / s (trillions of hashses per second). But in Scrypt, this changes radically. In fact, a Scrypt miner consuming around 1000 watts will hardly be able to offer us more than 500 MH / s (millions of hashses per second). Up to that point Scrypt is quite a challenge for hardware miners.

Now let's get to know some of the miners that exist for this difficult but safe algorithm:

Antminer L3 ++

The well-known company Antminer has created the ASIC miner, Antminer L3 ++. This miner is capable of Scrypt mining up to a maximum of 580 MH / s and a consumption of about 800 watts of energy.

Innosilicon A6 + LTC Master

About us Innosilicon It is another of the big companies that create ASIC mining hardware. In this case, your miner Innosilicon A6 + LTC Master, is designed to work with Scrypt. The total power of this miner reaches 2,2 GH / s, being one of the most powerful. However, its power consumption shoots up to 2100 watts.

As we can see, Scrypt is a great hash algorithm that has helped many cryptocurrencies create a powerful option against Bitcoin and derivatives that use algorithms like SHA-256. Its high security, ease of implementation and potential to evolve, make it one of the most sought after hash functions in the crypto world.