Merkle tree and its importance in Cryptocurrencies

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If you are interested in Cryptography and information security, chances are you have heard of the Merkle tree. This tree is a data structure used to verify the integrity of information transmitted between two parties.


The Merkle tree is named after its creator, Ralph Merkle, who first described it in an article published in 1979. Since then, it has become a key tool in ensuring the secure transmission of data over computer networks.

What is a Merkle tree?

The Merkle tree is an important tool in Cryptography and information security. It allows two parties to verify the integrity of the transmitted data in a decentralized way and without the need to trust a third party. The Merkle tree is tamper resistant and has proven effective in ensuring data integrity in a wide variety of applications, such as financial transactions, military communications, and Internet of Things applications.

A Merkle tree is a data structure used to verify the integrity of transmitted information. In its simplest form, a Merkle tree is a binary tree in which each node (Sheet) represents a chunk of data. Each node (No sheet) represents a hash value, which is computed from the hashes of its two child nodes.

The result is a tree in which each non-leaf node has a hash value that depends on the hashes of its child nodes. The root node of the tree, also known as the Merkle root, has a hash value that can be used to verify the integrity of all data in the tree.

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How does a Merkle tree work?

One of the best known applications of the Merkle tree is the Bitcoin Cryptocurrency. The Bitcoin blockchain uses a Merkle tree to verify the integrity of each block in the chain. Each block contains a list of transactions and the Merkle root of those transactions is stored in the block header. Bitcoin miners use the Merkle root to verify that the transactions included in the block are valid and have not been tampered with.

The Merkle tree is also used in other Cryptographic protocols, such as the SSL/TLS protocol used in secure online communications. In SSL/TLS, the Merkle tree is used to verify the integrity of digital certificates used in server authentication.

To explain all of this better, suppose that Alice wants to send a file to Bob securely. Alice creates a Merkle tree from the file data and sends the file or Merkle root to Bob. Bob receives the file (Merkle root) and uses the hash of the root to verify the integrity of the file.

To do this, Bob splits the file into chunks and calculates the hash value of each chunk. Bob then builds a Merkle tree from the hash values ​​he has computed from the file. Finally, Bob compares the Merkle root he received from Alice with the Merkle root he built from the hashes of the file fragments.

If the two Merkle roots match, Bob can be sure that the file he received from Alice is identical to the original file and has not been modified in transit.

Why is the Merkle tree important?

The Merkle tree is important because it allows two parties to verify the integrity of transmitted data without needing to trust a third party. In other words, the Merkle tree allows two parties to verify data integrity in a decentralized way and without the need for a central authority.

Additionally, the Merkle tree is resistant to tampering. If an attacker tries to modify the data transmitted in transit, this is reflected in the Merkle root and the verification will fail.

Currently, this verification system has taken a leading role within the Cryptocurrency ecosystem due to its implementation in some proof-of-reservation systems that have been launched by the vast majority of Exchange platforms.

Thanks to Merkle tree, it can be guaranteed that the financial information offered by the exchanges of the reserve tests is true and has not been altered, guaranteeing the users of said platform that their Cryptocurrencies are on a platform with sufficient resources to operate normally and will not have the risk of bankruptcy. On the other hand, it gives the exchange credibility by being fully transparent with its users.


In conclusion, the Merkle tree is an essential tool in Cryptography and information security. It allows parties to verify data integrity in a decentralized and tamper-resistant manner. Additionally, the Merkle tree has a wide variety of applications in financial transactions, military communications, the Internet of Things, and other Cryptographic protocols. While it may be difficult for non-Crypto experts to understand, its importance should not be underestimated in today’s digital world.

This process is used within the verification or verification of information of a blockchain network, but currently it has been implemented within the reserve proof processes of Crypto trading platforms.

This is due to the fact that at present this type of platform has seen the need to implement a reservation test process, which guarantees its users that said platform has the necessary resources to maintain itself without risk of bankruptcy. This is why the Merkle tree was used to give greater security and certainty to the information provided by these entities.

No, the Merkle tree process was not really designed to be used from the beginning for Cryptocurrencies, since it is a tool based on Cryptography and computer science, where they focus on the verification of information, it has a presence in areas of high-level financial transactions, in military communications systems, and in some internet apps.

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