16 Bytes

16 bytes seems like a pretty short number. That's only 128 bits. It doesn't take long to write them down. You could even memorize them if you try.

16 bytes is the length of a Globally Unique IDentifier (GUID). Here's one I just generated: "{37B317CC-6036-4037-8E26-0A239103BC2B}". This GUID has never been generated by any computer at any time in history, and will never be generated again.

I can use this arbitrary number to represent anything I want. I can say this is the ID of a new COM interface I design, or a new ActiveX control I author. I can use this as the primary key of a new row I add to a database table. Since it is globally unique, there is no chance of collision if I merge with another database.

There areĀ  3.4 x 10^38 possible 16 byte numbers. They are more rare that they originally seem.

Your social security number is 9 decimal digits. There are only 1 billion of those. It's a much shorter number.

16 bytes can be a trade secret.

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