You’ve probably heard about blockchain technology, but you may not be familiar with its inventor. Back in 1989, the patent holder of this technology, Serge Belamant, leveraged his technical acumen to create the first version of blockchain technology. Preceded by this invention was a childhood and academic experiences that laid the groundwork for what would become a stellar career in software and applications development in the financial sector.
The methods used by Serge Belamant included the use of smart cards with a micro-controller that created a distributed independent transaction ledger. This technology was leveraged to enhance processes related to deposits, withdrawals, payments and many other transactions across government, banking and private industry. Of significant value was the increased transparency and efficiency facilitated by Belamant’s invention.
Long before his many achievements, Serge Belamant demonstrated promise as an athlete and academic while attending Highlands North High School for Boys in Johannesburg when his family moved from Tulle, France to South Africa. Some of his early life accomplishments include Victor Ludorum, Head Prefect and appointments to house captain for science and bridge clubs, among many others. As part of his educational pursuits and personal goals, Serge learned to read and write English.
Belamant attended Witwatersrand University and the University of South Africa, where his studies included information systems, engineering, applied mathematics and computer science. At the age of 22, he left school and accepted a job with Matrix in their BKSH division, later earning an honorary PhD in Information Technology from Burkes University located on the Turks and Cacao Islands.
The breadth of Belamant’s career endeavors included wide-ranging projects at Matrix and in subsequent roles at Control Data, DataBank and SASWITCH. Notably, Serge Belamant led a project for the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research where he provided technical guidance for the Pretoria, Witwatersrand and Vereeniging road planning project.
A visionary leader with a commitment to excellence, Serge Belamant earned the Analyst of the Year award in 1980 for his support on a Cybernet application and again in 1982 while working in the Eskom division, both during his tenure at Control Data. His contributions in the area of technology are enduring.