The MTP (Merkle Tree Proof) algorithm was devised by Alex Biryukov and Dmitry Khovratovich from the University of Luxembourg in their paper published on the 11 June 2016 titled Egalitarian Computing. These are the same researchers who came up with Equihash that is currently used in ZCash and the Argon2 key derivation function.
MTP promotes fair and democratic mining by making ASIC development expensive. The key element of this approach is large (in size) and intensive (in bandwidth) use of RAM. RAM is expensive in both FPGA and ASIC and slow on GPU. Previous attempts in large and memory intensive proof of works were problematic. This is because to verify these memory intensive proof of works, the nodes had to also have that memory and spend a relatively long time calculating it. This made the network susceptible to transaction DoS attacks where nodes are constantly occupied in verifying transactions.
MTP’s advancement means that hard memory intensive proof of works can be verified quickly with low resources. MTP was designed to be able to require miners to utilize large amounts of RAM up to potentially 10 gb while remaining fast to verify! This can potentially revolutionize PoW mining by bringing it closer to the original vision of Satoshi where one CPU = one vote and democratizing mining instead of keeping it within a handful of powerful miners while maintaining a resilient and low resource network of nodes.