A mining hash algorithm acts like a signature for a data file. An almost unique hash is created to validate a cryptocurrency transaction on the blockchain. A hash is a number generated from a string of text and depending on the algorithm, varies in length. The longer the hash, the stronger it is. Due to the length, it is almost impossible to create the same hash twice. However, a longer hash means more processing time. Hence why different coins, such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, have opted for different algorithms.
We've listed many of the cryptographic algorithms below. Click through to see which coins use it and a little bit about the algorithm.