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Crypto Terms:  Letter N
Jun 19, 2023 |
updated Apr 02, 2024

What is Nonce?

Nonce Meaning:
Nonce - a method of securing communication on platforms that utilize smart contracts.
2 minutes

Let's find out Nonce meaning, definition in crypto, what is Nonce, and all other detailed facts.

A nonce, also known as a number only used once, is a cryptographic method of sequencing and segregating transactions on blockchain platforms that utilize smart contracts such as Ethereum.

Additionally, a nonce can be referred to as a unique number whose main purpose is to secure communication.

Since more than one cryptocurrency transaction can be sent via Ethereum, a nonce allows it to determine which cryptocurrency transaction should be given priority processing. If nonces were disabled, the platform could experience some issues in account balance transfers due to conflicting transactions.

The mainnet of Ethereum ensures that transactions with lower nonce values are processed before transactions with higher nonce values.

Let’s have a look at an example to understand this better. For instance, one broadcasted transaction holds a value of 3, another broadcasted transaction holds a value of 4. In this case, the transaction with the value of 3 will be processed first.

The main drawback that comes with nonces is that it can make an entire sequence of transactions static. This means that if an issue occurs with a transaction of a lower value nonce then every other transaction behind it is stuck.

Some smart contract platforms utilize nonces for other uses as well. For example, Ethereum users can also utilize nonces to cancel or speed up a transaction. In order to cancel a transaction, they could make a new transaction with the same nonce value and send it to their own wallet. However, there’s no guarantee that it won’t cancel another transaction that has the same nonce value.

In order to speed up a transaction, users could make a new transaction with the same nonce value and send it again. Only this time, they should increase the gas price before sending it off.