Widely Used Cryptographic Algorithms

By Rushali Shome

Blockchain technology essentiallyruns on cryptographic principles. For developing blockchain networks and cryptocurrencies, one requires cryptographic algorithms. Here, we talk about some of the most widely used cryptographic algorithms. Before that, it is essential to understand the basic concepts first.

Meaning of Cryptography

Cryptography refers to the study of techniques that are directed towards securing communication channels using code-based encryption. In layman’s terms, it involves solving higher order mathematical problems and developing reversible data alteration in order to develop codes that are unbreakable and help guard the data in storage.

What are Cryptographic Algorithms?

Cryptographic algorithm refers to the method by which process of changing data from being in a legible format to an encrypted form takes place. The encrypted data cannot be read unless it is reversed back after reaching the destination.

Now blockchain developers attain the heightened levels of security in blockchain networks by making use of such cryptographic algorithms. Here’s a look at some of the most popular ones.

RSA

RSA is one of the most common encryption algorithms regularly used for securing data shared over the web. It is public-key and also has a private key as its pair, ultimately forming an asymmetric algorithm. RSA is a rather strong algorithm hackers find quite a lot of processing power and time to crack.

AES

AES or the Advanced Encryption Standard is one of the best-known algorithms in cryptography and it is so reliable that even the government of the United States of America has adopted for securing its data. It has three bit sizes : 128-bit, 192-bit and 256-bit and while the lowest size works just fine, the latter two are more effective when it comes to heavy-duty encryption work. AES is practically impregnable by most forms of attack. However, brute force attacks, where hackers attempt to decrypt information by using all the possible combinations within the cipher can break this algorithm. A lot of experts are convinced that AES is well on its way to getting crowned as the common standard for data encryption soon.

Blowfish

Blowfish is one of the algorithms that aim at fine-tuning the earlier algorithm DES (Data Encryption Standard). It is a symmetric algorithm and it breaks down data or messages into 64-bit blocks, with each of them being separately encrypted. It is an extremely fast algorithm that works very efficiently with little chances of a breach. It is freely available to the public and therefore has been used in fields as diverse as online shopping websites for making online payment secure to password storage tools. It’s extremely versatile and can be moulded into a number of use cases.

Twofish

Twofish is the successor to the Blowfish algorithm and has been devised by Bruce Schneier, a well-known name in the world of cybersecurity. It is a symmetric algorithm with 256 bits. Since it’s symmetric, only one key is required for it to work. This algorithm is regarded extremely well for its incredible speed and versatility as it works in a hardware environment just as well as it does in a software environment. It is open source and freely available on a public domain. As a result, it is used very commonly.

These cryptographic algorithms are essential to eliminating security threats in blockchain and beyond.

Rushali Shome

Rushali Shome is a history undergraduate with a keen interest in puns, politics and beyond. When not typing away furiously in the “Notes” section of her phone, she can be found trying to catch the eye of servers at restaurants or weddings for a second helping.

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