Amazon has launched its virtual currency
in the United States, and has provided Kindle Fire
owners with an initial credit on their accounts. The 500 Amazon Coins
, valued at $5, can be used to buy apps from the Amazon Appstore as well as in-app items, along with an incentive to continue buying packs of the virtual currency instead of usual cash transactions.
Buyers of Amazon Coin packs can earn a discount based on how much they want to buy, with the discounted amount rising to 10 percent for a $100 purchase. Developers offering apps through the store will receive the standard 70-percent revenue share, regardless of whether or not their app currently offers Coin-specific purchases.
Though the idea of virtual currencies have been bothersome for some customers compared to using the local currency for transactions, there are still some advantages to the scheme. Parents could theoretically charge up an Amazon account with Coins for children to use, potentially avoiding the expensive in-app purchasing issues
, while Amazon will benefit by saving on payment processing fees.