Serge Belamant was born in France and moved to South Africa with his family at a young age. A bright student, he was awarded the Victor Ludorum in 1971. He attended both Witwatersrand University and the University of South Africa (UNISA) where he studied engineering, computer science, applied mathematics and information systems.
As a founding patent holder of blockchain technologies, Belamant was a key contributor in the development of blockchain applications for which he used smart cards. The smart cards that were used contained microprocessors that functioned online and offline. For the past 20 years, Belamant has filed several patents that led to the development of blockchain technology.
When new technology has been developed, it’s common to have difficulty convincing others of its value. This is especially true in the banking industry where executives generally want proof that the technology will not pose unknown risks. Serge Belamant repeatedly overcame this challenge. He launched Net1 Technologies and in 1995 was hired by Visa to develop a new application that used Funds Transfer System (FTS) and Universal Electronic Payment System (UEPS) technology.
Serge Belamant moved to the United States to complete the Visa project, which ended up being a tremendous success and of great value. The project resulted in development of the Chip Offline Pre-authorized Card (COPAC), which is still used today by Visa as a key security feature against fraud. It’s also used to combat the misuse of credit and for verifying personal ID numbers.
Another important contribution of Serge Belamant is the work he did in 1999 when First National Bank of South Africa sold Cash Payment Services (CPS) and the system needed to be updated. One of the primary areas of modernization that was required was for the payment of grants to over a million citizens of Africa, especially in rural areas. Belamant successfully implemented the UEPS, which resulted in greater security and speed.
Early in his career, Belamant worked at Matrix Engineering with software that provided finite element analysis. This is where he developed applications that analyzed water levels in dams. This is just one more example of how Serge Belamant has always used his technical acumen to make a difference.
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