an “authenticated data structure” can have its operations independently verifiable. When resources in a network can attest to their own authenticity, then that data is inherently live – that is, canonical and transactable – no matter where it is located. This is a departure from the connection-centric model of the Web, where information is host-certified and therefore becomes dead when it is no longer hosted by its original service. Self-authenticating data moves authority to the user and therefore preserves the liveness of data across every hosting service.
An authenticated data structure (ADS) is a data structure whose
operations can be carried out by an untrusted prover, the results of
which a verifier can efficiently check as authentic. This is done
by having the prover produce a compact proof that the verifier
can check along with each operation’s result. ADSs thus support
outsourcing data maintenance and processing tasks to untrusted
servers without loss of integrity.