Let's assume I've invented a cloning device that can house small items no bigger than 30cm x 30cm x 30cm. It creates a perfect 1:1 copy of whatever was placed inside initially, has a magical infinite power supply, and just requires 2 sets of input:

  • The item to clone, which is put inside the cloning machine.
  • Random debris/garbage to provide protons, neutrons, electrons, etc.; via a big funnel on the top.

Once I put the "desired" object inside the machine, and enough matter is "fed" to the device, it will clone whatever went in, with the cloned object magically appearing beside the machine. Mass is conserved, and energy comes from some magical external source, and there is no wasted energy expelled as light, sound, heat, etc. It takes about 10 seconds per cloning operation, regardless of what is being cloned.

Let's say I want to become wealthy and powerful. How would I best make use of such a device? It seems harder than I first imagined:

  • The gold dealer at the pawn shop is getting suspicious of the many small lumps of gold I sold to him, especially since they're all similarly shaped, and I don't want to draw unwanted attention.
  • I can't just deposit mounds of cloned cash into a bank account due to serial numbers also being cloned.
  • I tried cloning a literal dump truck of saffron, but can't find a bulk buyer.
  • I considered cloning pets for rich people, but that would draw too much attention.
  • I tried cloning high-end processors, but it's hard to sell them to local shops.
  • Organs seemed like a good idea, but I don't see any way to accomplish that without disclosing the device (I want it all to myself).
  • Munitions can be cloned, and small arms, but I can't clone a dedicated army to use them to protect me.
  • iPods and iPhones worked for a while to get lots of cash on eBay, but then IMEI filtering caused them all to shut down.
  • Alcohol was fun to clone until I was almost discovered. Who'd have thought it would be so hard to sell Amarone to restaurants?
  • I tried pollution and e-waste removal by turning garbage into clean water, but I also managed to get investigated for improper disposal of toxic waste.
  • I had fun cloning a small army of chickens and setting them loose in my hometown, but the townsfolk just gathered them up and ate them.
  • I had one too many bottles of top-shelve wine I cloned and started cloning antiques and leaving them around town. Now a police investigation is underway to find a counterfeiter, so I've drawn more attention to myself.
  • I tried manipulating the diamond market to crash prices: didn't go so well. It's apparently hard to give away free diamonds.

At this time, I can't seem to come up with anything that would let me become rich and powerful, so I just make a boatload of food and care packages for the local homeless shelters and soup kitchens. Surely I can put this device to use for more selfish ends, right?

  • $\begingroup$ Watch the movie Primer at least twice, drink some caffeine and watch it twice more, then implement solution as described. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jul 10 '18 at 3:51
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    $\begingroup$ @close guys - nah people you try to kill such a nicely formulated question, shame on you :D $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jul 10 '18 at 4:27
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    $\begingroup$ Clone the parts needed to mine cryptocurrency and the materials you'll need to power the parts. $\endgroup$ – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jul 10 '18 at 4:52
  • $\begingroup$ It seems your main problem is not how to make money bu how to sell your products properly. Just sell stuff on some darknet market in exchange for cryptos. Give away some gold/diamonds/GPUs for free, then when people trust you, you can start selling them underpriced (say 70% market price). Make a fortune in crypto and cash them all as trading income, done. $\endgroup$ – SilverCookies Jul 10 '18 at 7:59

You Can Do It!

Go up into the Klondikes, or Peru, or any other place known to be rich in some natural resource. Preferably somewhere remote enough where you can work without being watched too closely. Maybe, even better, a place like Nome Alaska (see Bearing Sea Gold) where a small single-person dredge operation is not unreasonable, and the public still has access to some regions that are plausibly gold bearing.

Actually go out into the fields and do the process of scooping up the dirt. No one knows what is in your sluice box, but there will be many witnesses that you were out there working.

Then get to cloning some fine gold (dust). You can pay to have this gold smelted before you sell it, even further obscuring any unnatural look to it. Then sell it to a dealer. Congratulations! You hit some tiny super-rich pocket that every other operator dreams about.


Sell you own cloning device

If you want to become rich and powerful then sell your cloning device and become THE richest and most powerful person in the world. I don't think you understand what you got here; the cloning device is the most important invention ever in human history. If this got out into the market it would (overnight) become THE game changer. What I would do is build up a corporate empire (using the other answers people leave you) then when you have enough backing (and protection) mass release the cloning device (should be easy for you) on the open market. You want to do this so your rivals (who WILL be many) and the government can’t stop you and they will try. There are a few ways to do this and (live) get rich and powerful

Option 1. Openly sell your device on the market BUT have a fail-safe that makes it that whoever gets it has to send it back to you ever now and again (maybe a battery) for a recharge keeps you in power but lowers your life expectancy (your rivals will then try to kill you to try to get there power back)

Option 2. Open source your cloning devices blueprints and gain royalties from them. This one you may not like the most but will keep you alive longer (you come across greedy and self-interest but this one will stroke your ego to the max) if you do this your cloning device becomes available to any joe wanting to build it (and that’s what you want) because if everyone gets that power no one has the power to take it away. Think about it a world where everything can be built at a push of a button, with this humanity would want for nothing. World hunger the class divide gone overnight because of your invention; the western world would collapse but something better will rise from the ashes a new world order. You will be remembered as the greatest mind in human history that pushed the human race into the space age, and that in itself is best riches of all (but you will be filthy rich anyway)

So it’s up to you be the guy that pushers the human race a few hundred years into the future and help them reach unlimited paternal or make a few million and your invention dies with you. your choice

  • $\begingroup$ Congratulations! It seems great minds think alike. You must have posted your answer while I was still writing mine. If the OP pooled both our related and complementary ideas he would be well on the way to wealth and power. Plus one. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jul 10 '18 at 5:47

The largest exploit of such a device is that it breaks thermodynamics and can be used to manufacture energy. Consider cloning energy dense materials like methane, and if gases are against the rules, consider a tank of gas, or simply go with coal.

If you are able to procur funds to acquire a natural gas power plant, a bank of cloning machines accepting the exhaust gas and converting it back into energy dense methane would create a perpetual motion machine.

With this model, you can massively undercut the overhead expenses of natural gas procurement and dominate the energy industry with ease. Consistent supply means that there are no concerns with outages like solar power, there’s no nuclear waste like fission reactors, there’s no greenhouse emissions like in a traditional fossil fuel plant. Your only concern is acquiring a volume to place your cloning machines.

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    $\begingroup$ he won't dominate energy industry that way 10 second per 27 liters not even close $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg Jul 10 '18 at 4:28
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    $\begingroup$ At about 7 gallons per run = 70 gallons per minute. We produce about 93 million bbl of petroleum per day, which works out to be 2.7 million gallons/min. To dominate the petroleum industry, you would need tens of thousands of machines. $\endgroup$ – user71659 Jul 10 '18 at 5:01
  • $\begingroup$ You don’t have to overtake usage outside of power production, only use it to supply power stations. If the issue of needing machines is bad, build a second one and clone sections of it, then assemble and repeat with each assembled machine working to manufacture another. $\endgroup$ – Zer0ah Jul 10 '18 at 5:34

Firstly, the so-called cloning machine isn't a cloning machine it is a matter duplicator. Hereafter this answer will call the machine a "duplicator" because that's what it is and that's what it does.

How to use to get rich and powerful? Nothing could be simpler. Take one duplicator plus a set of parts to make a second duplicator and duplicate them. You now have two duplicators, after assembly, of course, your best bet now is to duplicate the parts again and again. You have two sets of duplicator parts so it's time to assembly the second duplicator. Continue duplicating multiple copies of duplicator parts.

The point is duplicator technology is both a boon and curse on the type of scarcity economy we currently enjoy. Probably, it would be a safe move to hide various sets of duplicators and the duplicator parts.

It's time to go public. Demonstrate that you can duplicate almost anything. Within the limits of size, of course. Naturally every man, woman, boy, girl, and their marsupial frog will want to own a duplicate. Sell them at excruciatingly exorbitant prices. It would be a simple matter to set the prices enough that only major governments can afford to buy a duplicator.

That is phase on of your marketing and sales plan. Phase two is mass marketing. If you cleaned up in phase one, you will also clean up with phase two.

Since duplicators are effectively manufacturing devices their conditions of sale will prohibit any duplication of the duplicates themselves. Your legal advisers I am sure will delighted to assist in drafting the conditions of sale and the licensing provisions about the use of duplicators. Anyone, for example, licensed to duplicate duplicators and sell them will be required to pass on a hefty commission or fee to yourself.

The mass marketing and applications of duplicators will soon make you the richest person on the planet. You will be hailed as a saviour of humanity. All waste products can be used as feedstock for whatever things anyone wants to duplicate. Rare minerals, elements and otherwise expensive substances will be duplicated en masse. For example, rare earths used in so many of our electronic devices are mined in environmentally hazardous conditions. With duplicators it is only necessary to make a small number of any electronic component and keep duplicating them again and again. Say, at one end of a conveyor belt. The parts will pass down the line and be assembled with all the other duplicated electronic parts and other components of the device(s).

Forget about wish fulfillment schemes of duplicating things in secret to get rich and powerful. Sell it to the world! This will make you the richest, naturally this will follow as a result, and the most powerful person on the planet.

  • $\begingroup$ Until some government get jealous and confiscate everything. $\endgroup$ – Antzi Jul 10 '18 at 5:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Antzi Some governments may have done that in the past. Today most governments are so pro-business & duplicator technology would be so economically powerful that they would massively support you & gladly crush any of your competitors. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jul 10 '18 at 5:43
  • $\begingroup$ This is a whole different scale than that. We are talking about a radical transformation of the world economy. More powerful than computers, steam engine, and electricity combined. Nobody would let that be controlled by an individual. I wouldn't. $\endgroup$ – Antzi Jul 10 '18 at 6:14
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for more detail and a good market plan but the maker of the cloning device will become a target for assassination by both other competitors and the government (its a cloning device that give endless growth its a sellers worst nightmare) supply and demand is the bread and butter for all western economy and ideology, the cloning device is the very killer of that. maybe he will be more popular in eastern country's where communism is present. $\endgroup$ – Creed Arcon Jul 10 '18 at 6:20
  • $\begingroup$ @CreedArcon Why kill the goose that laid the golden egg? The benefits of working together are better than killing the duplicator's inventor. It would be easy to either pay him off or give him all the research he needs to invent the next best thing. Like bigger duplicators. As your own answer suggested duplicators will create a richer, materially better world. Better to collaborate & thereby moderate the adverse impacts. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jul 10 '18 at 7:53

Your approaching this wrong. You are approaching it as an individual trying to sell a good. You should be doing this as a business front and then almost every business can succeed. Just setup a factory next to the ocean so you have a near infinite supply of sea water to convert into matter.

You could sell alcohol and pretend your factory is a brewery. You can sell gold, just say your a mining company. You could sell microchips to apple, just say your a chip manufacturer. A lot of different things can get you rich and you have the means to clone it.

Here is an example. You have your cloning machine (which isn't too bulky). You clone your iphone a couple of times and sell it off (lets say you have 1000 now). You buy some gold jewelry from a nearby store and clone it a lot. You want 24 carat, and size doesn't matter. You find all the gold buyers in your area and sell it. Your using tap water as a material because usually thats cheap as hell. Now say you have 10K ish from that. Time to invest in some higher end goods. Watches and expensive jewlery is a good start. Lets say you buy a rolex, clone it a couple times. Return the rolex and sell some copies on ebay. You could probably keep doing this and become a second hand rolex store. Just use the money to buy new version and sell off the clones. Now your probably closer to the 100k area. Its time to invest in setting up a fake business. You really only need a warehouse and the rest is all paper work and brand building. You become a supplier. You hire people or other companies to design and create a single product for you and you just clone it and sell it. There is no expensive investment into the machinery and people required to run the business although you would eventually want to become a real factory and start another business to get rich.


The reality is that you are going to have to shift your market as you saturate it. That being said:

  • Moon Rocks - Moon rocks are worth roughly $50M/kg. Now obviously the market on moon rocks has been a bit stagnant, but I think that might make this an interesting thing to produce. Scientists go to great lengths to figure out what they need to without consuming moon rocks because they're just that precious. They appreciate what they have. That means that, were you to start cloning moon rocks, you may actually find that the market does not obey supply and demand. Scientists may come forth with more experiments to do if they become aware that the rocks are now available for testing. It'll take the emotions out of it. It seems you didn't want to reveal what you are doing, but you didn't go out and say it. If you're willing to be public, this will do the trick!
  • Inkjet ink - Inkjet ink is worth more than its weight in caviar! And we need a lot of it. The market cap is about \$16 billion, accounting for about 45 million liters of ink. You could make a reasonable sum supplying inkjet ink without really eating into the market and affecting supply and demand too greatly.
  • Gold - You listed why you didn't do gold, but you didn't do it right. Don't sell to the pawn shops. Sell to the suppliers. If you're afraid of the Jewlery markets, consider electronics. Electronics consumes roughly 260 metric tons of gold every year. They are totally comfortable with the idea that their gold arrives in highly predictable shapes. In fact, they like it that way. At the moment, a ton of gold goes for about \$60million, so you could easily get into 8 digits without really becoming a market power. The trick would be the cover. You should buy a gold distribution company which buys and sells gold. Then, when you get an order for 100kg of gold, procure 80kg the normal way, and then clone the last 20kg as pure profit.

At some point, we do have to discuss what it means to be rich. Is \$500M/year enough, or do you need to clear the billion dollar mark? If you're looking to have your plane photographed by Nick Gleis, you may have to be willing to make a mark on the market.


The obvious answer to me is Coltan, but let's explore the basic economics first.

The problem with a cloning machine making you rich is that all economies are about supply and demand. Ultimately, things cost more when supply is low and demand is high; a cloning machine increases supply, meaning it's always going to drive down prices in a fixed demand market.

Fortunately, the demand for mobile smartphones is only increasing, along with many other forms of hand-held electronic devices. I say fortunately because these devices contain some pretty rare elements, some of which come from an ore called Coltan.

Coltan is pretty much only found in industrial quantities in the Congo, at least at the time of writing this. Demand for this rare earth ore is increasing rapidly, but the supply of it is pretty fixed. This means that the price can only increase over time. That said, with a 30cm x 30cm x 30cm cloning containment field, even you can only increase supply by a fixed amount over time. So; take some cheap mass (landfill, whatever) and create Coltan out of it. When you have enough, sell it on the open market and while the price will probably stabilize a bit, it's not going down. This stuff is really needed and an increased supply will only invite more companies to be building sophisticated electronics, meaning that the market won't tank like it would with diamonds.

I'd also revisit the toxic waste issue as well; sure, there are regulations, but if you make enough out of Coltan, you can buy a massive facility somewhere that is already accredited, and not only convert the material coming in to healthy products, but also dig up what's already been buried. That way, you have as many rare earths as you need for production purposes, and you don't have to dig up your front lawn anymore to do it.

Your biggest issue is explaining how your big hole in the earth is not only a toxic waste dump but the latest mining shaft for digging up Coltan. Still, perhaps the different accreditation bodies don't talk to each other...

  • $\begingroup$ It's considered bad practice to both VTC the question AND answer it. It's essentially gaming the system; answering it first, then closing it to prevent further answers. It also sets a bad example. If you agree that it's a duplicate, I recommend placing this answer on the other question instead. $\endgroup$ – Aify Jul 10 '18 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Aify yes, I was worried about that because I'd already answered but on checking the review queue it's clearly a dupe. If the practice is to post this answer elsewhere happy to do so. $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Jul 10 '18 at 23:16
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, the practice is to post it on the dupe. $\endgroup$ – Aify Jul 11 '18 at 2:34

Yes as people said you didn't do it right with gold, it depends on the country you are in, but generally, you can convert any poor mine in a rich mine and no one will tell you are lying (even if someone will bother to check that, it happens that stuff just is exhausted, it ends) Sure that much activity is for starters and it will make you wealthy and allow to step up the game but it won't make you insane rich, even if it is potential for to make any mine to be reacher than it actually is.

27 liters of stuff per 10 seconds okay + another 10 seconds to get stuff out - it is potentially 20 million per 20 seconds, probably more per 20 minutes, the chunk will weight about a half tonne.

Even selling iron ($500/t) will give you 400k per 24h, less so as scrap. So a jumpstart would be probably selling scrap metal and stuff like that.

Yeah, with that speed yeah, cloning grow medium(aka dirt) would be profitable.

Also nice to see people recognize that it isn't only a cloning device but so as an energy source. Would you have a personal nuclear reactor then cloning uranium could be an interesting option to extract that energy.

Soo for starters it probably does not make sense to clone super valuable stuff with such a throughput. You really can clone drillbits and cutters and get rich out of that even if you clone them in scrap conditions.

Soo do open a legit scrap yard after a jumpstart, and just there more scrap out in smelters than there scrap in.

Instead of selling electronics use it. Buy cheap china clone of something, and clone a good stuff they did clone. and use that for bitcoin mining or for rendering graphic for Hollywood. (you can hit a deal with them so they send crap by a price of crap calling it premium good, you just even do not need to verbally do that, just find those who make crap, just get the cheapest price available)

As for getting powerful and still keep the stuff secret, you have to rely on good old ways, to hire people and such. Your strong side here you can't get broke so it is a good advantage, people will just think you are better at management than everyone else or you can lose certain investments without any regrets.

There are more complex approaches, so call me ... :D


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