Home Business Insights & Advice Decentralisation and hashing

Decentralisation and hashing

by Sarah Dunsby
13th Jun 24 3:00 pm

Despite the fact that decentralisation cannot be clearly called an approach that has absolute advantages, its steady expansion continues throughout the world. More and more companies and organisations in a variety of areas of economic activity are trying to study and apply certain decentralised approaches in their work. Many decentralised applications have already been developed and continue to be developed that can solve various problems without the participation of a third party in the form of owners or government agencies or banking and financial institutions.

It should be noted that decentralisation, as a mechanism, is not uniform in all cases of its application. In other words, companies can use different levels of this approach depending on their maturity and the problems they want to solve with decentralisation. Accordingly, the infrastructure built for decentralised work can also be divided into different categories and have different options for its use. In order to structure the infrastructure of a particular company, it is useful to take advantage of the knowledge and qualifications of development engineers of the highest category in the service company https://dysnix.com/.

Strengths of decentralisation

Speaking about the decentralised approach, it is necessary to remember what fundamental meaning its application carries. Let’s imagine some kind of blockchain network, the participants of which are interested in ensuring that their actions do not depend on any single regulatory center or body. At the same time, in order not to depend on the pressure or power of some of their colleagues on the network, they are obliged not to trust each other. The fulfillment of these conditions is precisely ensured by the use of decentralisation tools. This approach shows us the strengths that decentralisation has. We mentioned that network participants should not know each other and, moreover, should not trust each other. Compliance with this principle leads to the fact that each of them has identical copies of all the data that was received and stored by the network as a result of any transactions. If, accidentally or intentionally, changes are made to any copy by one of the participants, it will not be accepted by the rest of the colleagues.

This obvious advantage of decentralisation of the blockchain network leads to the emergence of its other strengths. Obviously, if there are identical copies of data, a unified format for storing them is assumed. This, in turn, means that the risk that needed information may become unreliable or even lost is eliminated. The next positive aspect of decentralisation is that the likelihood of systemic problems occurring in the network is sharply reduced. And, of course, decentralisation is precisely the factor that allows you to significantly optimise the resources used.

Purposes of hashing

Venturing into the topic of blockchain, it should be noted that a functioning network does not operate on any one transaction. In fact, a certain number of transactions that came from users at some current moment are placed in one block. For this filled block, a hash function is calculated. Next, the hash function of the first block goes into the header of the next block, which, in turn, will contain its own set of transactions. The number of transactions that can form one block depends on the memory capacity of a particular blockchain network, as well as on the size of each specific transaction. Blocks with transactions are cryptographically linked to each other in a chain and  this connection and continuity of blocks is carried out using a hash function. In order not to reduce the speed of transaction processing, the hash is calculated not from the complete block, but only from its header. In the header of each block there is a special field called “Merkle root”.

The task of Merkle root is, first of all, to store the hash of all transactions and to have a specific mechanism for calculating it. In computer science, there is a classic data structure, or in other words a hashing algorithm, called the “Merkle Tree”. To understand this algorithm better, let’s imagine that based on the results of transactions on the network, four blocks A, B, C, D were formed with a certain set of data, for each of which a hash was calculated. In order to confirm the correctness and immutability of the data in each block, you can use the constant hashing method of the entire data set, which cannot be done quickly. In order not to complicate this cryptographic process, the idea of ​​hashing not the data itself, but its hashes, appeared. In other words, a certain hierarchical structure must be built in which level hashing occurs. This structure is precisely the Merkle Tree. For our example with four blocks, the hashes of two pairs of blocks A-B and C-D are first determined, and then a general hash is formed from them.

The second task of Merkle root is more utilitarian and allows any network participant to obtain information from a remote server about whether his transaction was included in the block or not. Upon his request, he will receive the general hash of the block, the hash of his transaction, and the hashes of paired transactions of this block. By performing the appropriate calculations and comparing the result with the general hash of the block, the user can verify that his transaction is in this block.

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