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51% attack

51% attack refers to an attack on a blockchain – usually bitcoin's, for which such an attack is still
hypothetical – by a group of miners controlling more than 50% of the network's mining hashrate,
or computing power.


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A block records some or all of the most recent Bitcoin transactions that have not yet entered any
prior blocks. Thus a block is like a page of a ledger or record book. Each time a block is
'completed', it gives way to the next block in the blockchain.


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A growing list of records called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. Each block
contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and transaction data. By
design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data.


Block header

A blockchain consists of a series of various blocks that are used to store information related to
transactions that occur on a blockchain network. A block contains a unique header, and each
such block is identified by its block header hash.

The header is an 80-byte long string and is comprised of the 4-byte long Bitcoin version
number, 32-byte previous block hash, 32-byte long Merkle root, 4-byte long timestamp of the
block, 4-byte long difficulty target for the block, and 4-byte long nonce used by miners.
As a part of a standard mining exercise, a block header is hashed repeatedly by miners by
altering the nonce value. Through this exercise, they attempt to create a proof of work, which
helps miners get rewarded for their contributions to keep the blockchain system running.
Candidate block

Nodes select transactions from their memory pool to form their own candidate blocks. Each
node then tries to add their candidate block to the blockchain through mining. Every block starts
off as a candidate block but only the successfully mined ones are added to the blockchain.


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Cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange value(just like ordinary money) that exists in the digital
world and relies on encryption, which makes transactions secure.


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Cryptographic Hash

H​ashing​ means taking an input string of any length and giving out an output of a fixed length. In
the context of cryptocurrencies like ​Bitcoin​, the transactions are taken as an input and run
through a hashing algorithm (bitcoin uses SHA-256) which gives an output of a fixed length.

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Collision resistance

Collision resistance is a property of cryptographic hash functions: a hash function H is collision

resistant if it is hard to find two inputs that hash to the same output; that is, two inputs a and b
such that H = H, and a ≠ b. Every hash function with more inputs than outputs will necessarily
have collisions.



All operations on the Blockchain should be deterministic. Simply put, the same operation
performed across different nodes should return the same result. A difference in results between
the nodes for the same operation can lead to a failure in consensus, since storing this data on
the ledger will lead to an inconsistent ledger state thereby making the whole smart contract


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Digital signature

Digital signature is a cryptographic value that is calculated from the data and a secret key
known only by the signer. In real-world, the receiver of message needs assurance that the
message belongs to the sender and he should not be able to repudiate the origination of that

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Distributed consensus

A replicated state machine is a set of distributed computers that all start with the same initial
value. For each state transition, each of the processes decides on the next value. Reaching
“consensus” means that all the computers must collectively agree on the output of this value.
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Double-spend problem

Double-spending is a problem in which the same digital currency can be spent more than once.
In other words, double-spending is an instance in which a transaction uses
the same input as another transaction that has already been broadcast on the network.

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In information theory, entropy is the measure of uncertainty associated with a random variable.
In terms of Cryptography, entropy must be supplied by the cipher for injection into the plaintext
of a message so as to neutralise the amount of structure that is present in the unsecure
plaintext message

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Genesis block

A genesis block is the first block of a block chain. Modern versions of Bitcoin number it as block
0, though very early versions counted it as block 1. ... It is a special case in that it does not
reference a previous block, and for Bitcoin and almost all of its derivatives, it produces an
unspendable subsidy.
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Immutable transactions

A transaction happened if it is part of history. As we mentioned earlier, history therefore

blockchains should be immutable too. Breaking immutability in blockchains refers to how hard is
it to convince the majority of the nodes to alter an existing block.
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Key pair generation

Asymmetric encryption is used abundantly to transfer confidential data through an untrusted

infrastructure like the internet. The cornerstone of this end-to-end encryption is the availability of
a pair of associated keys — a private and a public key. It is crucial that the private key is
generated on the end-user’s device and is confined there as it allows anyone to read the
messages encrypted with the easily distributable public key.

Generating an RSA key pair means finding two large and purely random prime numbers. In
practice, one utilizes a cryptography-grade Random Number Generator (RNG) to repeatedly
generate random numbers with 600 digits. For each generated number, the probabilistic
Miller-Rabin test​ is used to check whether the number is prime or not. This process is repeated
until two suitable prime numbers are found.

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Ledger generally refers to the bill of quantities made in accounts. Same in cryptoworld, it makes
sense with the record of transactions being done amongBitcoin users. e.g Blockchain, Ethereum
etc. Also it is a secured database which stores and holds the money of people in the form of


Merkle proof

Merkle proofs are established by hashing a hash’s corresponding hash together and climbing up
the tree until you obtain the root hash which is or can be publicly known.

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Merkle tree

Merkle Trees are a fundamental component of blockchains that underpin their functionality.
They allow for efficient and secure verification of large data structures, and in the case of
blockchains, potentially boundless data sets.

The implementation of Merkle trees in blockchains has multiple effects. It allows them to scale
while also providing the hash-based architecture for them to maintain data integrity and a trivial
way to verify the integrity of data.
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Bitcoin miners achieve the same effect without these institutions by clumping transactions
together in “blocks” and adding them to a public record called the “blockchain.” When bitcoin
miners add a new block of transactions to the blockchain, part of their job is to make sure that
those transactions are accurate. Therefore they verify these transactions

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Mining, in the context of blockchain technology, is the process of adding transactions to the
large distributed public ledger of existing transactions, known as the blockchain.

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A nonce is an abbreviation for "number only used once," which is a number added to a
hashed—or encrypted—block in a blockchain that, when rehashed, meets the difficulty level
restrictions. The nonce is the number that blockchain miners are solving for. When the solution
is found, the blockchain miners are offered cryptocurrency in exchange.


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Non-invertibility is another feature that's often desirable, depending on the intended usage of the
algorithm. This says that it should be impossible, or at least prohibitively difficult, to work out the
input that led to any given hash. Ideally, it should be easy to transform data into a hash, and
practically impossible to go the other way.


Within the block's operation, the concept of hash is very important (non-invertible algorithmic
computer function that maps a string of arbitrary length into a string of predefined length) that
uniquely identifies the block and allows connection with the block previous by identifying the
previous block.



Non-repudiation is the assurance that someone cannot deny the validity of something.
Non-repudiation is a legal concept that is widely used in information security and refers to a
service, which provides proof of the origin of data and the integrity of the data. This means that
if someone was to send a message, they could not later deny that they sent it.
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One-way function

A cryptographic hash function is an algorithm that can be run on data such as an individual ​file
or a password to produce a value called a checksum.

The main use of a cryptographic hash function is to verify the authenticity of a piece of data.
Two files can be assumed to be identical only if the checksums generated from each file, using
the same cryptographic hash function, are identical.

Some commonly used cryptographic hash functions include ​MD5 and ​SHA-1​, although many
others also exist.

Cryptographic hash functions are often referred to as "hash functions," but that's not technically
correct. A hash function is a generic term that encompasses cryptographic hash functions along
with other sorts of algorithms like cyclic redundancy checks.


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Proof of work

A Proof-of-Work (PoW) system (or protocol, or function) is an economic measure to deter denial
of service attacks and other service abuses such as spam on a network by requiring some work
from the service requester, usually meaning processing time by a computer.



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PuTTYgen is a key generator tool for creating pairs of public and private SSH keys. It is one of
the components of the open-source networking client PuTTY. Although originally written for
Microsoft Windows operating system, it is now officially available for multiple operating systems
including macOS, Linux. PuTTYgen.exe is the graphical tool on Windows OS. While on the
other side, Linux OS has the only command-line version could be accessible using SSH


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Self-referential data structure

Self Referential structures are those structures that have one or more pointers which point to
the same type of structure, as their member. In other words, structures pointing to the same
type of structures are self-referential in nature. In the above example 'link' is a pointer to a
structure of type 'node'.


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The SHA (Secure Hash Algorithm) is one of a number of cryptographic hash functions. A
cryptographic hash is like a signature for a text or a data file. SHA-256 algorithm generates an
almost-unique, fixed size 256-bit (32-byte) hash. Hash is a one way function – it cannot be
decrypted back.



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Takeover attack

Could it even happen, and if so how? A blockchain is obviously a public ledger detailing the
historical transactions on a blockchain, how can this be acquired, muted or deleted? The fact
that there is a historical trail begs the question of how that could ever be muted or the value
contained within eroded?


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Transaction pool

The Mempool is a “waiting area” for Bitcoin transactions that each full node maintains for itself.
After a transaction is verified by a node, it waits inside the Mempool until it’s picked up by a
Bitcoin miner and inserted into a block.


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