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BLAKE-256 Hash Function

SHA-256, used in Bitcoin, has a number of technical shortcomings due to its Merkle-Damgård construction. These vulnerabilities led to the SHA-3 competition for a new hash function based on a different fundamental construction. Bitum has chosen BLAKE-256 as its hash function, a finalist for the competition1 2. The hash function is based around a HAIFA construction that incorporates a variation of the ChaCha stream cipher by Bernstein. The hash function is notable for its high performance on x86-64 microarchitecture, being faster for short messages than SHA-2563 despite being considered to have a much higher security margin at 14-rounds.


  1. Aumasson J., Henzen L., Meier W., Phan R. 2010. SHA-3 proposal BLAKE

  2. Aumasson J., Henzen L., Meier W., Phan R. 2014. The hash function BLAKE. 

  3. Bernstein D. and Lange T. 2013. eBACS: ECRYPT benchmarking of cryptographic systems