The Man Behind the Blockchain: Serge Belamant

Blockchain technology is where Serge Belamant comes into the picture. True, Serge is not exactly a household name like Bitcoin, Ethereum or Ripple. However, time will eventually show the contributions of Serge Belamant to be every bit as significant as a Bezos or Zuckerberg. Simply stated, Serge Belamant is a founding patent holder of blockchain technologies.

Serge was instrumental in developing blockchain applications through the use of smart cards. The smart cards contained microprocessors which functioned on or off-line. Online and mobile financial transactions take place at nearly 150 million per second and account for over $100 trillion annually. Without the means of verifying the true identity of both parties, the world financial system could not operate. Legacy systems were slow, cumbersome and prone to human error. Serge’s verification system changed this by assigning each prospective transactor and transactee an identity and account verifying facility to identify the prospective transactor and an account the prospective transactor has with a financial institution.

As with many new startups selling breakthrough technology, blockchain was slow in building a customer base. The first years were spent trying to get banks to use his Universal Electronic Payment System (UEPS). Bound by tradition and regulation, banks are highly risk-averse and the early going proved challenging. The breakthrough moment for Serge came in 1995 when Visa hired Serge’s firm Net1 Technologies to invent a new application using his FTS/UEPS technology. Serge moved to the United States where he had access to everything he needed to complete the project. The end result was called the Chip Offline Pre-authorized Card (COPAC).

While completing the COPAC project for Visa, Serge successfully integrated his two innovating technologies together. By merging FTS and UEPS, Serge Belamant created the COPAC which is still a primary security feature for Visa against fraud, misuse of credit and verifying personal identification numbers. Serge’s company, Net1 Technologies was successful in implementing the UEPS which supplied security, speed, and interoperability within CPS. With this masterful piece of work, Serge Belamant was nicknamed the Henry Ford of IT by respected journalist Stafford Thomas.

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