Keccak is a versatile cryptographic function that was developed by Guido Bertoni, Joan Daemen, Michaël Peeters, and Gilles Van Assche. It is best known as a hash function with better security compared to older hash algorithms, like SHA-1 and SHA-2.
Understanding the term
Keccak refers to a family of cryptographic sponge functions designed as an alternative to SHA-256 – the algorithm used by Bitcoin and several other cryptocurrencies. Keccak was chosen by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as it was safer and more reliable than the other options. It is based on sponge functions instead of the Merkle Damgard construction used by SHA-1 and SHA-2.
SHA-2 is used by Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, playing a crucial role in the process of mining. While SHA-2 is still considered secure and is widely used, the adoption of SHA-3 is expected to increase. SHA-3 runs well on ASICs. SHA-3 has the best resistance to quantum computing-based attacks.
Some blockchain networks use Keccak in the same way as Bitcoin uses SHA-256. Keccak has the flexibility to support symmetric cryptographic functions and is used in hashing, pseudo-random number generation, and authenticated encryption.
Keccak is a versatile cryptographic function that provides increased levels of security when compared to older hash algorithms. It was developed around 2007 after NIST announced a public competition seeking a new cryptographic hash function.