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Author Topic: What is MAST?  (Read 23 times)
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December 23, 2017, 10:59:30 PM
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What is MAST, and how will it benefit bitcoin?
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December 23, 2017, 11:06:16 PM
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What is MAST, and how will it benefit bitcoin?

it stands for "Merklized Abstract Syntax Trees." bitcoin magazine did a pretty good introduction here. in the simplest terms, it's a proposed addition to bitcoin (finally formally proposed on the mailing 3 months ago) that can allow for smaller transaction sizes and more privacy. more efficient implementation of smart contracts is a big part of it.

here's a simplified rundown from Mark Friedenbach:

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An abstract syntax tree is a computer science term for the parsing of a programming language into a tree like structure, where for example an "if" condition would be a parent node and the two branches (if/else) the children. The MAST idea was that if you hash both branches you can then choose to only reveal the branch you take, gaining a possible space savings and more importantly an increase in privacy as observers don't see the other branch.

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