Innovative and forward-thinking, Serge Belamant, created the first version of blockchain technology back in 1989 and he also holds the patent for that technology. In simple terms, blockchain is a list of records that are linked together with cryptography. As an applications and software developer Belamant has made many contributions to the financial sector and his inventions provided the backbone for cryptocurrencies. Born in Tulle, France, Serge Belamant moved to South Africa as a teenager and attended Highlands North High School for Boys in Johannesburg. While in high school, he played rugby, earned sixth place during the South African Chess School Championship, was appointed house captain for the science and bridge clubs, became Victor Ludorum and was named Head Prefect.
Without a doubt, his high school experience was a clear indicator of his future success. Belamant attended Witwatersrand University and the University of South Africa, studying engineering, computer science, applied mathematics and information systems. He left school to enter the workforce and accepted a position with Matrix, a civil engineering firm where he worked with finite element analysis software and analyzed water levels in dams throughout the RSA. This was just the beginning of what would become a long and his successful career. Serge Belamant was a key contributor on projects for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He provided leadership to a team responsible for a Pretoria, Witwatersrand and Vereeniging road planning project and served as a knowledgeable resource.
While working on a Cybernet application support team at Control Data as the Head Analyst in their ESKOM division, he won the Analyst of the Year award in both 1980 and 1982. Serge Belamant was recruited by SASWITCH, where he led his IT division. Faced with difficulties within the RSA banking system concerning real time switching and the processing time of transactions, SASWITCH charged Belamant with resolving the problem. Belamant developed a new National ATM switch for RSA banks that ran on parallel processing systems and fault tolerant hardware. He also secured contracts to obtain the necessary hardware. Serge Belamant went on to launch his Net1 Technologies in 1989, which became a publically traded company in subsequent years.