Bitcoin uses RIPEMD160 on top of SHA256. Is its sole purpose to make public key address shorter or does it strengthen security in any way?


1 Answer 1


RIPEMD160 was designed in the open academic community and not like SHA2 by a NSA competition... one may see this as security advantage.

160bit hashes do also have less space requirements (then sha256) on the blockchain as well as in indexes, etc.

  • Thanks Jonas Schnelli, does it also give advantage for being used together with SHA256 in terms of double hashing?
    – Jamol
    Apr 26, 2018 at 21:16
  • Most hashes in bitcoin are using double sha256. But an additional RIPEMD does protect against possible weakness in SHA256 since addresses are hashed with SHA256 and RIPEMD160. Apr 27, 2018 at 20:10

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