Using a Merkle tree can significantly reduce the amount of data that a trusted authority has to maintain for verification purposes. It separates the validation of the data from the data itself.
Merkle trees have three major benefits:
- They provide a means to prove the integrity and validity of data
- They require little memory or disk space as the proofs are computationally easy and fast
- Their proofs and management only require tiny amounts of information to be transmitted across networks
The ability to prove that a log is complete and consistent is essential to blockchain technology and the general ledger concept. Merkle trees help verify that later versions of a log include everything from an earlier version and that all data is recorded and presented in chronological order.