How secure is 256 bit security?

Supplement to the cryptocurrency video: How hard is it to find a 256-bit hash just by guessing and checking? What kind of computer would that take?
Cryptocurrency video: https://youtu.be/bBC-nXj3Ng4
Home page: https://www.3blue1brown.com/

Several people have commented about how 2^256 would be the maximum number of attempts, not the average. This depends on the thing being attempted. If it’s guessing a private key, you are correct, but for something like guessing which input to a hash function gives the desired output (as in bitcoin mining, for example), which is the kind of thing I had in mind here, 2^256 would indeed be the average number of attempts needed, at least for a true cryptographic hash function. Think of rolling a die until you get a 6, how many rolls do you need to make, on average?

Music by Vince Rubinetti:
https://vincerubinetti.bandcamp.com/album/the-music-of-3blue1brown

——————

3blue1brown is a channel about animating math, in all senses of the word animate. And you know the drill with YouTube, if you want to stay posted on new videos, subscribe, and click the bell to receive notifications (if you’re into that).

If you are new to this channel and want to see more, a good place to start is this playlist: http://3b1b.co/recommended

Various social media stuffs:
Website: https://www.3blue1brown.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/3Blue1Brown
Patreon: https://patreon.com/3blue1brown
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/3blue1brown
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/3Blue1Brown

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