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A hash chain is commonly defined as the repeated application of a cryptographic hash function to a given data asset. This type of hash cryptography can be extremely useful in some specific security setups. By providing a successive chain, hash chains make it harder for a snooping hacker to hijack a data asset through applying a single input.
The idea of a hash chain is that a user supplies an individual input on the first interaction or session, and then adds authenticating data on the next session. Over a set of sessions, those individual hash inputs create a “hash chain” that authenticates a single user input in a more profound way.
As an example, hash chain processes can be similar to a blockchain ledger approach for bitcoin and other cryptocurrency, in that blockchain and other similar systems authenticate an input with previous hash key lists. However, other kinds of hash chains may not have the same specific features and details built into blockchain, which is becoming a gold standard for ledger transparency in the world of global finance.
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