I was reading this article which talks about a design to shorten URLs, and in the design section, it says that the given URL can be hashed using a hashing algorithm such as MD5, and then be encoded for display purposes using base64 or similar encoding.
I am confused so as to why would we need to encode a hashed string. Is it not safe to display an MD5 hash, or is there any other benefit? Can anyone shed some light on this? I tried searching online, and a lot of pages talk about encryption, etc but not about the above scenario.