I am trying to learn about password encryption by creating a simple password hashing algorithm, although many online articles did warn "Do not create your own algorithm".
I discovered that most of the encryption outputs are represented in bits instead of characters. Initially, I misunderstood this, how bits should be used instead of characters--resulting in my creation of an algorithm with a 1024-character output.
Why is encryption always represented in bits instead of characters? If I encrypt a color hexadecimal value (e.g. red with hex value ff0000), and at the end my output still contains value 0-9,a-f with 128 characters in total length, this will be represented as 512 bits since hexadecimal only uses 4 bits, as 512bits/4=128 characters. Have I understood this correctly?
Do the rounds in encryption mean the same thing as the number of iterations of my encryption process (e.g. transposition, mirroring, etc.)? And how should I determine the number of rounds that I should use to make my algorithm strong against attack?