What are Merkle Tree & Verkle Tree in Blockchain? Check here.

By January 16, 20234 minute read

Merkle tree and Verkle tree are some of the most important blockchain fundamentals. Moreover, the idea of Merkle and Verkle trees has also received some attention as web3 has spread worldwide and corporations have begun to realize the potential of web3 ecosystems.

The basic but well-known building blocks of a blockchain are Merkle and Verkle trees. In this article, we will see a brief comparison between these Cryptographic algorithms.

Let’s get started!

What is Merkle Tree in Blockchain?

Merkle tree is a data structure, commonly called a hash tree, and is made up of hashes of various content blocks. It’s a tree where each leaf node is identified by a Cryptographic hash of the data block, and each non-leaf node is identified by a Cryptographic hash of the labels of its child nodes. It is in charge of effectively encrypting the blockchain data and verifying the content.

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Ralph Merkle developed Merkle trees to create more dependable digital signatures. Merkle trees are more effective since they use less disc space than other data structures.

How does Merkle Tree work?

There are millions of blocks in the blockchain where endless transactions are happening at once. The Merkle tree helps in securely encrypt data in the blockchain. Each pair’s hash is computed individually when the transactions are formed into pairs. The process is then repeated, pairs are created, and the parent node’s hash value is calculated. Repeatedly hashing pairs of nodes occurs until there is only one remaining hash, which is the tree’s root and is known as the Merkle Root.

Leaf nodes, Merkle roots, and Non-leaf nodes are the three crucial components of the Merkle tree in the blockchain.

  • Leaf nodes – It is the hash of the transactional data that takes place on a blockchain block. The leaf nodes include a collection of hash values computed for each transaction.
  • Non-leaf nodes – They keep track of the hash values from their earlier hashes. It is known as intermediate nodes as well. This process keeps going till the Merkle root is reached.
  • Merkle roots – Merkle Root refers to the Merkle tree’s base. The Merkle tree’s final hashing location is there. The block’s header contains the data from this final block as well as the root hash of all transactions.

The Merkle tree is built using the bottom-up approach. This method results in the calculation of hash values from a lower to a higher point.

Benefits of Merkle Tree in Blockchain

  • Verify the data’s accuracy: This approach can successfully verify the data’s accuracy.
  • Compared to various other data structures, the Merkle tree takes up a comparatively small amount of disc space.
  • Merkle trees could be broken down into smaller pieces of data for network validation.
  • Adequate Confirmation: The data format is efficient, and the accuracy check doesn’t take long.

What is Verkle Tree in Blockchain?

Verkle trees help in providing structure to a huge amount of data. It is done by generating a witness that will serve as proof for each piece of data on the blockchain, but only if access to the root’s tree is available.

John Kuszmaul invented Verkle trees. Proof size efficiency is the key characteristic of Verkle trees. The Verkle tree requires fewer than 150 bytes to construct the proof for the tree, which may hold more than a billion data points.

How does Verkle Tree work?

Verkle trees provide decreased data sizes for large amounts of data. Verkle trees have the following characteristics in their nodes: they can be empty, have an intermediate node with a predetermined number of children, or have a leaf node with a key and value. The extension node and the inner node are the two nodes that make up the Verkle tree’s structure.

The inner node can have numerous values that different extension nodes could represent, and the extension node itself can represent multiple values at once. A hash of the values of a node’s children is used to determine the value of an intermediate node. The main restriction while creating Verkle trees is that it will take a very long time to compile proofs if the width is quite huge. Additionally, it will eventually lead to a reduction in the length of the proofs.

Benefits of Verkle Tree in Blockchain

  • Verkle trees, in contrast to Merkle trees, allow for significantly reduced proof sizes for enormous amounts of data.
  • The proof length, which is often logarithmic in state capacity, affects networking communication.
  • A Verkle proof can be easily verified by anyone with access to the top of the tree and includes proof that a large amount of data has been preserved.
  • The Verkle tree is a use-case of the Polynomial Commitments proving system that uses mathematical polynomial functions for data description.

Conclusion

In the Crypto world, Merkle trees, as they were first discovered, were successfully used to encrypt and verify data in a secure manner. However, miners have found Verkle trees to be more beneficial and efficient for lower data volumes.

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is not a legal tender and is currently unregulated. Kindly ensure that you undertake sufficient risk assessment when trading cryptocurrencies as they are often subject to high price volatility. The information provided in this section doesn't represent any investment advice or WazirX's official position. WazirX reserves the right in its sole discretion to amend or change this blog post at any time and for any reasons without prior notice.
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Harshita Shrivastava

Harshita Shrivastava

Harshita Shrivastava is an Associate Content Writer with WazirX. She did her graduation in E-Commerce and loved the concept of Digital Marketing. With knowledge of SEO and Content Writing, she knows how to win her content game!

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