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Polish Alior Bank authenticates documents with public ethereum blockchain

Marcin Drozd [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Tue, 18 Jun 2019, 04:03 am UTC

Warsaw-based Alior Bank is reportedly using the public Ethereum blockchain to verify the documents of its clients, according to a report by Forbes.

As per the media outlet, when Alior Bank clients receive an official document, they can check on its authentication and integrity by opening a website link to its spot on the public chain. Using the Ethereum blockchain technology, the clients can validate if the document was really issued, in the same exact wording, as the bank claims.

“We know exactly in which block of ethereum the document with a given hash is published. If we know the block number, we also know the timestamp,” Piotr Adamczyck, Alior Bank’s blockchain technology lead, explained.

We know that the document was published some time ago and hasn’t been changed in that time [if the hash stored on the blockchain is identical to the hash calculated from the document], so we can prove it hasn’t been replaced on our servers.

The report stated that the blockchain technology was developed as a result of the changing regulations in Poland. The law required that the public must have access to all documents from a bank in a durable medium. In 2017, the country’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection ruled that bank website pages can easily be changed, making them not suitably durable.

As a result, Alior Bank came up with a blockchain solution that offers online documentation using a suitably durable medium while still complying with the imposed regulations. The bank led to the founding of the Blockchain Center of Excellence last October.

Alior Bank management believes it is the first bank to use a public blockchain for customer service, as most banks use private ones.

“We want people to verify that we did everything right and we don’t conceal anything. If we say the documents are actually verified and authentic, everybody can check it and confirm,” Tomasz Sienicki, blockchain strategy lead, said.

Sienicki also said that other banks who are interested can copy its innovative solution.

A recent study conducted by Binance Research earlier this month found that Ethereum is the most commonly used platform for decentralized finance (DeFi) applications (Dapps), with collaterals collectively worth more than $500 million (more than 1.5 million of ethers) as of June 5.

Meanwhile, in Thailand, 22 Thai and foreign bank branches have created a blockchain network via the Thailand Blockchain Community Initiative (BCI) to lessen the complexity of normal bank process, simplify data verification on the same network, reduce the potential of fraud information, and enhance business efficiencies.

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