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Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll probably have heard of blockchains. What you may not know is that this data structure is an instance of a data structure known as a Merkle list. Blockchains, in turn, often contain Merkle trees of transactions within them. However, the literature tends to talk about these data structures in a fairly ad hoc way. This talk will introduce Merkle data structures, show how to automatically generate them from the algebraic representation of their type, and investigate an interesting correspondence between zippers, the integral calculus and Merkle set-membership proofs.
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