The unsolved math problem which could be worth a billion dollars.

No one on Earth knows how to reverse one of the most popular computer algorithms. Yet it’s really easy to compute one-way. You could make billions of dollars if you solved this mathematics problem, which is computed quintillions of times per second in the race for mining Bitcoin. SHA256 has some amazing properties, is useful for digital signatures, cryptography, authentication, and is a central part of the Bitcoin protocol.

(**** UPDATE 2021: After two years, I’ve finally posted a follow-up video, an introduction to Bitcoin. You can find it here: )

Bitcoin and other “crypto-currencies” rely on one-way hash functions like the SHA-256 algorithm to secure the blockchain where all the transactions are kept.

In this video, I explain some of the big-picture ideas behind this one function. Other cryptocurrencies use similar ideas.

Comments, suggestions, or errors? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll fix them in an upcoming follow-up video.

Take a look at some of my other videos:

—- Links ——
Wikipedia about SHA-256:

Current Bitcoin difficulty:

Big number calculator:

—- Credits —-
BitCoin & Money Photo:
Copy Link to Credit: (CC-BY 4.0)
Bitcoins and Cryptocurrency coins on $10,000 straped stacks of $100 dollar bills cash money

Bitcoin mining farm:
(CC-BY 2.0) Marko Ahtisaari –

Fourier Transform Graph:
(CC-BY 4.0) Jake

Wikipedia Hash Function Algorithm illustrations:

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