Even though the Ethereum blockchain is mostly known for powering dozens of digital currencies, this was not the primary purpose behind its initial development. Ethereum was envisioned as a platform to enable distributed computing applications and smart contract settlement; to this effect, it has already been considered as a sensible option to run property registration databases and even national identification systems. Alior Bank, a prominent financial institution in Poland, has recently implemented an Ethereum blockchain solution to authenticate documents exchanged between the bank and its customers.

In essence, the Alior Bank blockchain prompts customers to confirm that they have taken physical delivery of a document by means of visiting a website and exchanging hash information. The way this system works is by allocation a block that contains a timestamp indicating when the document was issued and delivered. When the recipient authenticates possession of the document, a hash calculation is performed. As long as this smart contract transaction is conducted, documents stored in the bank's servers cannot be compromised or replaced by fakes thanks to the data encryption properties of the Ethereum blockchain.

There is more than just innovation behind Alior Bank's decision to adopt this Ethereum blockchain solution; there is also a matter of compliance with Polish banking regulations enacted in 2017. Financial regulators in Poland have rightfully determined that websites that issue documents cannot be considered safe digital platforms because they are too dynamic and subject to change. While websites are adequate for some financial transactions, Polish regulators are concerned about the safety of certain financial documents.

The blockchain implementation by Alior Bank is public instead of private, and this is by design. The types of documents being handled through the blockchain are meant to be subject to public transparency, which means that they can be reviewed by third parties as necessary. Other banks around the world have already implemented similar blockchain solutions, nearly all of them based on Ethereum, but they have been largely private and for internal use. Alior Bank is a pioneer in the sense that it has chosen a public blockchain to serve an internal business process.