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# Merkle Tree

AnalyticsTrade Team Last updated on 26 Apr 2023

# Merkle Tree

A Merkle tree, also known as a hash tree, is a data structure used in cryptography and computer science to verify the integrity of large sets of data. It is a type of binary tree, composed of a set of nodes with a specific structure. Each node contains a cryptographic hash of its own data and the data of its children. The root node of the tree contains the cryptographic hash of the entire set of data. This structure allows for efficient and secure verification of the contents of the data set, without having to transmit the entire set.

## History of Merkle Trees

The Merkle tree was first proposed by Ralph Merkle in 1979 as a way to verify the integrity of data stored in a distributed system. Merkle’s original paper proposed the use of a hash tree to verify the integrity of data stored in a distributed system, but the concept was not widely adopted until the late 1990s, when it was used in the development of the Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA). Since then, Merkle trees have been used in a variety of applications, including digital signatures, distributed databases, and blockchain technology.

## Comparison Table

Data Structure Time Complexity Space Complexity
Merkle Tree O(log n) O(n)
Hash Table O(1) O(n)
Binary Tree O(log n) O(n)

## Summary

Merkle trees are a powerful data structure used in cryptography and computer science to verify the integrity of large sets of data. They are composed of a set of nodes with a specific structure, each containing a cryptographic hash of its own data and the data of its children. The root node of the tree contains the cryptographic hash of the entire set of data. This structure allows for efficient and secure verification of the contents of the data set, without having to transmit the entire set. For more information about Merkle trees, visit websites such as Wikipedia, Cryptography Stack Exchange, and Bitcoin Wiki.

• Hash Function
• Cryptography
• Digital Signature
• Distributed Database
• Blockchain
• Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA)
• Hash Table
• Binary Tree
• Distributed System
• Data Integrity