The Journey of the Tech Genius, Serge Belamant

The founder of blockchain technologies, Serge Belamant is one of the most influential people in the information technology industry. His innovations have also been instrumental in developing efficient solutions in the financial sector and have also been the foundation of the creation of cryptocurrencies. About Serge Belamant born in France in 1953, at 14, he moved with his family to South Africa and the transition forced him to learn to speak and write in English. After high school, he enrolled for an Engineering degree at Witwatersrand University. He later switched to Computer Science before transferring to the University of South Africa to pursue a course in information systems.

Serge Belamant was first employed at just 22 years and that is when his career in IT began. His first job was at Matrix and then he moved to Control Data. Serge Belamant also worked as a consultant at Bancorp. His breakthrough in the industry was when he was hired as the head of IT at SASWITCH, a subsidiary of RSA banks, He developed a National ATM switch that helped the banks to improve on the processing time of transactions and it also connected all the RSA banks. Serge Belamant also went ahead to develop the Point-of-Sale system while still in this company. His Net1 Technologies, began operations in 1989, the year he left SASWITCH. He started the company by marketing one of his first inventions, the Funds Transfer System (FTS).

Serge Belamant had used the FTS to develop the Universal Electronic Payment System (UEPS) and was trying to get banks to buy it. In 1995, Visa offered him the opportunity to utilize these technologies to develop a new application. When the project was completed, the new invention was Chip Offline Pre-authorized Card (COPAC). The feature is still used by Visa to prevent fraud and for verifying the personal identification numbers. Over the years, his business reputation and that of his company continued to grow not only in South Africa but also in other countries like Namibia, Iraq, Botswana, to mention few. His tech company went public in 2005 and it also achieved a market capitalization of $2 billion. In the same year, Serge became the CEO and the Chairman of the company