A Merkle Tree was a main focal point in Satoshi Nakamoto’s paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System“. Satoshi Nakamoto is an unknown person that as of 2021 is a multi-billionaire. The first transaction was from Satoshi sending 50 BTC (Bitcoin) to Hal Finney (@halfin) on January 12, 2009; Finney then tweeted about it stating “running bitcoin”. Think of this as a structure similar to DNA.

This is an example of crypto, and is the basis of how this industry got started.

What is a merkle tree ?

A Merkle Tree, also known as a hash tree, is a data structure used in cryptography to efficiently and securely verify the integrity of large datasets. It is named after its inventor, Ralph Merkle.

A Merkle Tree is constructed by recursively hashing pairs of data elements until a single value, called the root or Merkle root, is obtained. Each pair of elements is hashed together, and the results are then paired and hashed again, until only one remains.

The Merkle Tree is used to verify that a particular element is a member of a large dataset without needing to download the entire dataset. To do this, a proof consisting of a subset of the hash values in the tree, along with the element to be verified, is provided. By hashing this subset of values along with the element, one can compare the results to the Merkle root. If they match, the element is verified to be a member of the dataset.

Merkle Trees are commonly used in blockchain technology to provide a secure and efficient way to verify the integrity of transactions and blocks in the chain.