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A hash rate in blockchain and cryptocurrency operations is defined as the number of hash operations done in a given amount of time, or the speed of a miner's performance. The hash rate is an important factor in the logistics of cryptocurrency mining and blockchain operations, and something that is often evaluated and discussed in cryptocurrency communities.
One of the most common measurements of hash rate is called "hash per second" and represents the number of SHA-256 algorithms that are performed per second. SHA-256 is a hash algorithm that takes a block of information and converts it to a hash, in a system that is comparable to various types of compression systems. It can be thought of this way – as the miners are mining the block, they generate strings of text that the SHA-256 algorithm works on and converts into hashes. That condenses the information that represents the block. Then, by counting the number of times that SHA-256 hashes a string of data, one gets the hash rate.