The Polish Bank Alior is the latest to join a chain of banks and financial institutions which has tried out blockchain for their processes. During the year, these firms have tried out systems on "permissioned ledgers" only members with invite access can join.
Now, Forbes reported that the Bank Alior is integrating a feature which will use blockchain to check documents.
The Warsaw-based bank announced that it is introducing a feature where customers can check on the integrity and authenticity of official documents sent over to them. They will use the ethereum blockchain, which supports ether as a cryptocurrency and is valued at a little over $27 million. It is standard for financial institutions to work with privatized blockchains that require permission, so a public blockchain is a first among firsts for the banking industry.
Tomasz Sienicki explained their motivation for using a public blockchain. According to the blockchain strategy lead, the idea is to be as disruptive as possible and provide solutions out of the norm. They are also looking at their model as a possible lead for other similar banking institutions to follow. The key, he explained, was to use public blockchain even though others think it's impossible.
Alior is noted as one of the first banks to implement the blockchain technology in direct contact with their customers. Other large international banks have already introduced blockchain as well, according to Cryptopolitan. However, it was only Alior which had introduced the document verification system, a new feature to simplify document management.
Blockchain is already being used to verify the full authenticity of documents. According to Sienicki, the bank will implement a strategy where anyone can verify documents when in doubt with what the banks say. It's a way of Alior to ensure that people can verify what the bank is doing and also a way for the banking firm to show transparency in transactions.
The public blockchain will give all customers access to their documents and the edit history of each account. Each document will be a smart contract, recorded with a unique block number. Information about the creators of each contract and the edits that "editors" made on them will be made available to anyone with access to the account and information at all times.
Blockchain could get more serious nods if it is developed as an open, secure space where everyone could verify the authenticity of a document. As Alior proved, blockchain has a place in real-world institutions with security as its selling point.