What is an Ethash?

Ethash is a proof-of-work consensus algorithm that is used by Ethereum and other blockchain networks. It was developed to be both ASIC-resistant and memory-hard, making it difficult for specialized hardware to be used to mine blockchain networks.

The Ethash algorithm works by having miners solve a complex mathematical puzzle using their computers. This puzzle is known as a hash, or cryptographic puzzle, and requires a significant amount of computing power to solve. Miners are incentivized to solve these puzzles by being rewarded with Ether, the native cryptocurrency of the Ethereum network.

The ultimate goal of Ethash is to make it difficult for any one miner or group of miners to gain an advantage by utilizing more powerful hardware. This ensures that miners are rewarded based on their work, not on their access to computing power.

In addition to providing a more secure and fair mining process, Ethash also helps to make the Ethereum network more decentralized. Because it is ASIC-resistant, miners do not need to invest in costly specialized hardware in order to compete. This makes it possible for smaller miners to join the network and helps to prevent any one miner or group from gaining too much control.

Ethash is currently the leading consensus algorithm for many popular blockchain networks and is likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. It is a powerful tool that helps to maintain the security, fairness, and decentralization of the networks that utilize it.

Simplified Example

Ethash is like a big scavenger hunt where everyone is looking for the treasure. The treasure is called a block, and whoever finds it first gets to add it to a big chain of blocks, like links in a chain. The more blocks you add, the longer and stronger the chain gets, and that's how you keep track of all the treasure that's been found. But, just like a scavenger hunt, there can only be one winner who finds the treasure. In Ethash, the treasure hunters use computers to solve a difficult puzzle, and whoever solves it first gets to add the block to the chain and keep the treasure. This way, everyone gets to join in the hunt, and it's fair because it's based on who can solve the puzzle the fastest.

History of the Term "Ethash"

During Ethereum's transition from its initial Proof-of-Work (PoW) algorithm, the selection of Ethash as the new consensus mechanism prompted discussions and documentation to use informal terms like "Ethereum PoW" or "Ethereum mining algorithm" to refer to the novel algorithm. The formalization of a distinct and concise term for Ethereum's unique PoW algorithm resulted in the adoption of "Ethash." The precise date and individuals responsible for formally introducing the term remain unknown. However, early references to "Ethash" can be traced back to 2015, primarily within technical discussions and development documents.


Ethereum (ETH): Ethereum is the original and most well-known cryptocurrency that uses Ethash as its consensus algorithm. It is a decentralized, open-source platform that enables the creation of smart contracts and decentralized applications (dApps).

Ethereum Classic (ETC): Ethereum Classic is a fork of the Ethereum blockchain that uses Ethash as its consensus algorithm. It is a decentralized platform that aims to preserve the original, unaltered history of the Ethereum blockchain.

Ubiq (UBQ): Ubiq is a decentralized platform that uses Ethash as its consensus algorithm. It aims to provide a stable and secure platform for the deployment of decentralized applications and smart contracts, with a focus on enterprise use cases.

  • Hash: A fundamental element of cryptocurrency. It is a mathematical function used to encrypt data, which allows for secure and efficient transactions on the blockchain.

  • Ethereum Transaction: A digital contract that enables a user to send digital currency or other related assets like tokens, digital certificates, etc. over a distributed, decentralized, public ledger called the Ethereum blockchain.