How many of all the tech-savvy people in the world have heard of Serge Christian Pierre Belamant? Not too many. How many of the average people have heard of him? Even fewer. Serge Belamant successfully managed to stay in the shade of fame even though he is the person holding the patent to blockchain debit cards. Mr Belamant was born in France, lived in South-Africa during his youth, and is now based in the United Kingdom.Serge Belamant is the founder of Net1 Technologies and has invented a blockchain debit card. It is a so-called smart card, that uses distributed ledgers that work both online and offline. It is the only card technology in the business world that allows a card to be used without any communication to a centralized computer.
When used offline, the card transaction is recorded with an offline device that runs on battery. Net1 Technologies, being the company holding the patent, store all the transactions on a computer, acting a central database. Wherever EMV cards are accepted, the blockchain debit card is accepted too.The year 1995 is a significant year in the history of Net1 Technologies. Serge Belamant got an agreement with Visa to develop a new application for the card system, called Chip Offline Pre-authorised Card, abbreviated to COPAC. Because of this, Mr. Belamant was compared to Henry Ford by the famous journalist Stafford Thomas.The blockchain debit card is used worldwide by three million people but is, not surprisingly, growing fast.
As quickly as the company is moving, it will be able to buy back all the public shares within five years from now. It can be surprising to some that a company with such a fast growth is lead by someone with the academic background of Serge Belamant, who left his studies after two years. He was a student of engineering, before changing his course to computer science and mathematics. Mr. Belamant quit these subjects too and moved on to courses in information systems.Net1 Technologies signed important deals in African countries as well as Russia. The biggest achievement was perhaps entering the NASDAQ stock market in 2005. Serge Belamant was the Chairman and CEO of Net1 until 2017.