Serge Belamant: Inventor of the First Blockchain Debit Card

The founder of Zilch Technology limited was born in France in 1953 as Serge Christian Pierre Belamant. Serge Belamant migrated with his family to South Africa at the age of 14. There he learned to speak and read English at the Highlands North High School for boys. Belamant began his higher education by studying engineering at Witwatersrand University in 1972. He only studied engineering for one year then switched majors his second year to computer science with applied math. At the end of the second year, Belamant left Witwatersrand University all together and began studying information systems through UNISA. He never completed a degree at either school.

Serge Belamant started his professional career working at Matrix, a large engineering company. There he used the finite element analysis software to work on small to medium sized IBM computers. Belamant used Cyber computer to develop applications. The applications were used to analyze the RSA dam levels, predict droughts, and optimize dam levels. Belamant was assigned to CSIR where he used statistical methods and developed digital mapping, graphic interfaces, and road network analysis.

Serge Belamant joined the application support team, called Cybernet, at Control Data. Control Data was a super computer manufacturer. He worked on debugging code and also assisted in operating various packages. The packages Belamant worked on ranged from structural engineering to linear programming. In 1980, Belamant received an award for analyst of the year.

In May of 2017, Serge Belamant began consulting for Net 1 UEPS Technologies. There he is credited with the creation of the blockchain technology running on a smartcard which is expected to revolutionize banking. The smart card utilizes distributed ledgers which work both on and offline. The transaction information is stored electronically on the smartcard. The next time the smartcard connects via a transaction or an ATM, all previous transactions are uploaded to the centralized system. The offline advantage of being able to use a credit or debit card without a connection to a centralized computer is truly revolutionary.

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