RIPEMD-160 - (from the English RACE Integrity Primitives Evaluation Message Digest) is a cryptographic hash function developed at the Catholic University of Louvain Hans Dobbertin, Anton Bosselaers and Bart Prenel. For an arbitrary input message , the function generates A 160-bit hash value called a message summary. RIPEMD-160 is an improved version of RIPEMD, which, in turn, used MD4 principles and the performance is comparable to the more common SHA-1.

There are also 128-, 256- and 320-bit versions of this algorithm, which, respectively, are called RIPEMD-128, RIPEMD-256 and RIPEMD-320. 128-bit version it is only a replacement for the original RIPEMD, which was also 128-bit and in which vulnerabilities were found. The 256- and 320-bit versions differ in twice the length of the summary, which reduces the likelihood of collisions, but the functions are not more cryptographic.

RIPEMD-160 was developed in an open academic community, unlike SHA-1 and SHA-2, which were created by the NSA. On the other hand, RIPEMD-160 is used somewhat less frequently in practice than SHA-1.

The use of RIPEMD-160 is not limited by any patents.