RepliCounts, A New Ways to Use Money Online

Financial accounts that can reproduce, inherit services, and evolve

The Idea

Modern e-commerce makes possible online accounts that reproduce (replicate) when their owner wants them to -- letting the "children" accounts (which are largely clones of the parent, unless changed by their owner) inherit money, settings and other information from the parent. The new accounts are independent of the parent and can reproduce in turn, creating generations and family trees of accounts. Like living creatures these accounts can evolve without central direction -- through everyday community use, as they accumulate successive owners' changes [mutations], and are selected toward greater usefulness to people.

We believe this has never been done before.

Why Account Replication?

The new accounts can inherit settings of any complexity, instantly and effortlessly at birth. Owners get this support from owners of previous generations of accounts, and need to change only what they care about. Their changes will be inherited, too. The result is a new financial infrastructure that can manage complex and highly customized services easily. For example, such accounts will:

NASA Blue Marble 2012
  1. Inherit permissions and know-how to accept dozens of forms of payment (the account owner can block selected payment systems);
  2. Easily accept new, modular features when people want them (such as notepads in accounts, to keep notes to yourself or your team with the account, and equally confidential);
  3. Operate online storefronts to sell mass sponsorships that make downloads or streamings free and registration-free to social networks of end users, paying the artists while delivering sponsors' messages -- see;
  4. Allow special email addresses to charge any price their owner sets to receive email from strangers -- e.g. 5 cents for spam control, or $50 for instant, spot consulting;
  5. Do certain routine business (like accepting payments) in many different languages, without machine translation;
  6. Do their own accounting, and offer dozens of business reports any time -- little or no setup needed, and always current to the minute;
  7. Compute and pay their own sales taxes automatically (and charitable contributions/promotions likewise);
  8. Inherit setups for entire fundraising campaigns or games, for customization and roll-out to local and/or global participants;
  9. Relieve paperwork drudgery;
  10. Allow easy access to global markets for digital content, from anywhere; and
  11. Provide a uniform, coherent financial infrastructure for running hundreds of applications.

Replication matters: consider DNA. We believe that some form of replicating accounts will become a major way that money is used online.

Open-Source Project

It was not obvious how to make replicating accounts work in practice. I've designed one way to do so. Programming the infrastructure is surprisingly easy. But practical and legal issues around new money software can be endless.

Our work is open-source and non-proprietary (we trademarked the name RepliCounts(TM) for particular version of REPLIcating acCOUNTS, only to avoid name confusion). If you can help this project in any way, or want more information, use the Contact email below.

Privacy; Contact

If you give us an email address, we will not give it to any 3rd party unless legally required (MailChimp gets it automatically). And you can get off our list at any time.

This site uses Google Analytics to show traffic. But we do not try to identify individuals -- nor keep log data after it expires on our server (about three weeks).

Contact: John S. James, jj at replicounts dot org. Include "replicounts" in your Subject line, to avoid spam filters.

For More Information

New June 27, 2012: For a more detailed overview of the design of RepliCounts, see

Also see our proof-of-principle demo in Python 3, at www.replicounts.COM. It runs as a demo, but is not ready for practical use. Note the response speed, even over poor Internet connections; usually you can get a full page of text faster than you can get an empty search box from

Money Innovation Search Engine

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No one else is exploring account replication, to our knowledge. But many projects are trying new ways to use money online, and in social networks. Try this search engine to find them.

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Page updated 2013-03.