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    Hmmm…misses some pretty important bits. This description focuses on the property that the root hash acts as a fingerprint of the entire dataset, but a simple “flat” hash over [A..H] would provide the same property.

    What’s neat about a Merkle tree are the other things it allows you to do much more efficiently – like recomputing the root hash (and any intermediates) when a small change is made, or quickly zeroing in on the differing chunks given two not-quite-equal datasets.

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      so what kind of hash should be used for a merkle tree?

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        It doesn’t require a specific hash function. Usually, it’s a cryptographic hash function like SHA-2 but you can choose another function just fine.