Crypto Glossary

A bit is a basic unit of information in computing.

Bit

A bit is essentially a basic unit of information in the case of computing. The name is a contraction of the binary digit and represents a logical state with one of two possible values. These two values are only 0 and 1. Bits are typically grouped up into bit multiples that are called bytes in order to store data as well as execute specific instructions. A group of eight bits is typically defined as a byte, where four bits are known as a nibble.

Now, due to the fact that bits are small, you will rarely work with information one bit at a time, and they are typically assembled into a group of eight. Once a bit is grouped up into eight bits, this becomes a byte. A byte contains enough information to store one ASCII character.

A kilobyte, on the other hand is 1.024 bytes due to the fact that computers use binary math, instead of decimal math, meaning that they are categorized this way.

Computer storage in fact, as well as memory, is measured in megabytes as well as gigabytes.

Many hard drive manufacturers will use decimal number systems in order to define amounts of storage space, and 1 MB, as a result, is defined as one million bytes, while 1 GB is defined as one billion bytes. Since a computer uses a binary system, it can be different.

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