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What Is Ethash And How Does It Work?

Updated on :  

08 min read.

To generate fresh crypto coins, you need to mine them. Crypto mining occurs through the Proof of Work (PoW) mechanism for many cryptocurrencies and blockchains. Ethash is a Proof of Work algorithm that facilitates mining on the Ethereum blockchain. 

What is Ethash Algorithm?

Ethash is a proof-of-work algorithm used for mining Ethereum and other ETH-based cryptos. Ethereum, Ethereum Classic and many other cryptocurrencies use it on their network. It is a modified version of the Dagger-Hashimoto algorithm. The unique features of this algorithm make it ASIC resistant and effectively verifiable. 

However, Ethash is not a cryptographic hash function by itself. It is a variant of SHA3 hash called Keccak-256. 

How does Ethash Algorithm work?

Let’s understand how Proof of Work runs on a blockchain. It will help you understand better before we dive in on how Ethash works. 

A blockchain’ Proof of Work algorithm takes data from a block header as its input and uses the cryptographic hashing method to yield a fixed-length output. You can hash different variants of the input data by using a new set of numbers each time you submit data into the process. 

Unlike the Dagger-Hashimoto version, Ethash kicks it up a notch by eliminating computing costs. This algorithm uses a vast data set that is regularly produced and gradually expands over time. However, the total programme size is small enough to fit in the VRAM of an old-school GPU. 

The hash value produced in this process must be less than a certain threshold. This limit is called difficulty. The Ethereum network lowers or raises the difficulty level to manage the block mining pace. 

Suppose the rate at which miners can find blocks are high. In such a scenario, Ethash will raise its difficulty. Alternatively, when the miners find it difficult to mine blocks, Ethash will lower the difficulty and more valid hashes will be available.

Benefits of Ethash

As a miner on Ethereum, you can get numerous benefits from Ethash. They are:

  • Ethash algorithm tells you the approximate computing resources you need to use to locate the sequence number that will allow you to add a new block to the blockchain. With the help of this feature, the network generates an average of one block every 12 seconds.
  • You get a static block reward of 3 Ether for every block you mine. Executing all the transactions within a block is a part of Ethereum’s Proof of Work mining procedure. Thus, you get all the gas expenditure back in your account. 
  • You also get additional 2.625 Ether for adding uncles (ommer) in the block.

Learning about Ethash gives you the basic knowledge of how crypto mining algorithm works. You can use this knowledge to mine other cryptocurrencies like Etho Protocol (ETHO), Metaverse Entropy (ETP), MOAC (MOAC) and many more.