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A number used to help with mining.

The nonce is a field in the block header.

I call it “the mining field”.

Nonce is an abbreviation of number used once.

What’s it used for?

Miners adjust the nonce when they’re trying to get the hash of their block headers below the target. (i.e. Get a valid Block Hash for their candidate block.)

All of the other fields in the block header are predetermined, so the nonce is what allows you to create different hash results. Block 404,104


Why is it called a “nonce”?

Just one of those terms used in cryptography, like Alice, Bob, and whatnot.

In cryptography, a nonce is an arbitrary number that may only be used once.

I know, I prefer “the mining field” too.


By Greg Walker,

Last Updated: 02 Apr 2020
  • 02 Apr 2020: added grades
  • 28 Mar 2020: updated html for h1 headers and subheadings - now dynamic from yaml
  • 28 Mar 2020: updated html for h1 headers and subheadings
  • 11 Dec 2019: links to /guide/mining
  • 15 Oct 2019: removed some old hard-code div class='figure'
  • 09 Oct 2019: renamed browser to explorer, glossary to guide, and guide to beginners
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Hey there, it's Greg.

I'll let you know about cool website updates, or if something seriously interesting happens in bitcoin.

Don't worry, it doesn't happen very often.