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Serge Belamant is a famous patent holder of blockchain technologies. Belamant's career as an applications and software developer was instrumental in the development of different blockchain technologies. Belamant helped create several cryptocurrencies. Belamant's innovation has made it easier for different banks and governments to quickly process activities such as deposits, investments, and withdrawals.
Serge Belamant was born in Tulle, France in 1953. During his teenage years, he moved to South Africa. While he was living in South Africa, Belamant learned how to speak English. Belamant
Education[edit | edit source]
Serge Belamant attended The Highlands North High School for Boys, where he was an outstanding student and athlete. This is where he learned to speak and write English and excelled in sports such as Rugby, Athletics and Chess.
Belamant became Head Prefect in 1972, was awarded full colours in Rugby, athletics, chess and academics - was Victor Ludorum in 1971 and 1970, house captain, member of both the science and bridge club. Represented Southern Transvaal, multiple times, in the South African Chess school championship - 6th position in 1972. Matriculated in 1972, with a university exemption pass.
After graduation, Belamant attended Witwatersrand University and The University of South Africa, where he studied engineering, computer systems, and information systems. Serge Belamant discontinued his studies and took 3rd year courses in information systems through UNISA. Never completed his degree as he would have had to repeat subjects he had already passed.
Career[edit | edit source]
Belamant started working at Matrix, a large civil engineering company. Belamant worked on small to medium size IBM computers using finite element analysis software and created special applications to help measure water levels in dams throughout South Africa. The applications were also able to help predict future droughts. Belamant helped develop computer models for projects at The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. His innovative work with the computers there helped create some advancements in digital mapping, statistical methods, and new graphic interfaces. This is where he learned statistical methods, developed graphics interfaces, digital mapping, road network analysis and the like.
To earn some extra cash, assisted Control Data's engineers to perform bench marks against various computer manufacturers such as IBM, UNIVAC, BURROUGHS, ICL Could code in FORTRAN, COBOL, PL1, PASCAL, \various ASSEMBLERS, APL., ALGOL. Was offered a job at Control Data (super computer manufacturers) to join the application support team called Cybernet. Was involved in debugging code and assisting in operating various scientific packages from structural engineering to linear programming. Was awarded the analyst of the year in 1980. Received training in Washington DC in linear and non-linear programming to run the COBRA system for the RSA military. Modified and optimised the application for RSA specifications and aptitude testing. Joined the Control Data operating system support group and took over as head analyst for ESKOM (national grid supplier), weather bureau, JCI (mining), CSIR and Palindaba (nuclear research). Won the systems' analyst award of the year in 1982. Moved to DATABANK to create the first scientifically driven financial system using Control Data equipment. Created the VIB network. VIB was bought by Volkskas.
Eventually, Belamant became a special consultant at Bancorp to research risk management. This is where he developed a 10-step programme to analyse risk and test business sustainability. As a result was awarded full membership of the RSA computer society.
Belamant created a program that looked closely at how sustainable a business really is. Thanks to his work at Bancorp, Belamant joined SASWITCH and became the head of the IT division. He managed the IT division as sanctions were being implemented against RSA. Designed, developed and implemented the National ATM switch in RSA connected to all RSA banks using Stratus computers (fault tolerant and synchronous). This proved very successful and SASWITCH became the 2 largest ATM switch in the world.
SASWITCH System[edit | edit source]
In 1989, after Serge Belamant had completed the development and implemented the new SASWITCH system, he conceptualised the first RSA POS system based on a network of X.25 interconnected workstations. This was not implemented by the banks as they first wished to determine the value proposition which could be achieved by rolling out POS devices on a national basis and how the revenue split would be divided amongst the banking partners.
Serge Belamant therefore decided to leave SASWITCH and started his own company based on one of his initial patents namely the FTS (Funds Transfer System). In October 1989, he founded Net1.
Net1[edit | edit source]
Belamant left SASWITCH and founded Net1 technologies. Visa hired Net1 to create a new app. Belamant developed The Chip Offline Pre-Authorized Card. The card helped make it easier for people to complete transactions due to the technology being able to easily detect fraud. Net1 overhauled Cash Payment Services. Net1 continued to expand throughout the World, reaching places such as Iraq, Ghana, and Russia. Net1 received an RSA government contract from The South Africa Social Security Administration to help pay for the social grants in South Africa.
However, in 1995, Visa entered into an agreement with Net1 for Serge Belamant to design and develop a new Visa application called COPAC (Chip Offline Pre-authorised Card) using FTS/UEPS technology. Serge Belamant relocated to the USA to complete this project. In 1999, Net1 bought CPS (Cash Paymaster Services) from FNB. CPS provided a system to pay welfare grants to around 1 million South Africans in rural areas. By applying the UEPS, Net1 was able to modernise the payment of grants by providing interoperability, speed and security. During this time, Serge Belamant was praised by Stafford Thomas, a well-known journalist, who equated the achievement to that of Henry Ford.
Net1 grew mainly outside of South Africa and signed deals in Namibia, Botswana, Burundi , Russia and later on Ghana, Iraq to name a few. During 2003 and 2005, I was working to list Net1 on the NASDAQ which I achieved in 2005. I became the Chairman and CEO of Net1, positions I held until 2017. Net1's capitalisation, when at its peak, reached more than the 2 billion USD mark.
Belamant is now focused on his new creation: Zilch Technology Limited. Zilch is making more blockchain technology to help the cryptocurrency market evolve. Many analysts believe that Belamant changed the IT world forever.
Zilch Technology Limited[edit | edit source]
In 2017, Serge Belamant helped co-found the company Zilch Technology Limited with his son Philip.