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Amazon to give away tens of millions of dollars in virtual currency


Active Member
What do u think????

Amazon has announced Amazon Coins, a virtual currency for use with its tablet, the Kindle Fire.
Scheduled to launch in May for US customers, the currency is being billed with an exchange rate of one Amazon Coin to one cent, although Paul Ryder, Vice President of Apps and Games for Amazon is also promising that the company will give customers tens of millions of dollars' worth of free Amazon Coins to promote the service.
The online retailer said the currency will allow customers to buy apps, games and in-app items available on the Kindle Fire, succinctly summing up the technology as "an easy way to spend money".
Amazon is also keen to point out that the impact on developers for its app store will be minimal. The 70 percent share of payment that goes to developers will be paid in dollars and the only requirement to fulfil to allow customers to use the Coin system is that the app or game be available on at least one iteration of the Kindle Fire.
"Amazon Coins are simply another payment method honored by the in-app purchase flow," says the Amazon FAQ. "No additional work is required from developers who use the latest Amazon Mobile App SDK."
Readers may be thinking, "Why on earth would I need another proprietary payment system?" You may also be thinking that when you read the line in the FAQ that adds, "Customers will be able to purchase in-game currencies with Amazon Coins" and you suspect you may be inadvertently opening an account with the Bank of Inception.
But the benefits of virtual currencies in terms of security have been much trumpeted by companies like Microsoft -- its Microsoft Points are the sole currency of the Xbox Live Marketplace.
One of the appealing factors for consumers is that although the currencies can be purchased using credit cards, the cards and the virtual money are not linked, meaning if an account is hacked you can avoid having your credit card details compromised. Purchasing currency in small batches also means that you (or your small child) are unlikely to run up any massive in-game bills by accident.
Amazon has only confirmed a US launch for the Coins. At the time of publishing Amazon had not responded to our questions regarding a wider rollout of the system.


Senior Member
interesting idea, but not understanding a big psychological difference between actual cash and virtual cash if they're worth the same amount...?!
if 1 really penny = 1 non-real penny, surely people will spend the same?

je suis très confus.


Well, I don't know if this is one of the main reasons as to why they're doing it but virtual currencies are not subject to the same laws as real currency, even though they are theoretically (but not technically) worth the same. For example in the UK, virtual currencies, as long as you put "This "whatever" has no real world value/is worth 0p" in the T&C's somewhere (like you see on coupons from supermarkets) then use of that currency is allowed freely without having to adhere to certain legislation, like the Gambling Act 2005.
I think psychologically people don't always treat virtual currencies with as much prudence as they would with a real currency, at least subconsciously. It could probably be categorised loosely with some of those supermarket ploys to get people to spend more money, such as the fake promotions; like when they try to tell us that a loaf of bread was actually selling for £2.50 before it was on offer, but if you buy it now you'll get one free.


Well-Known Member
I used to prefer that Playstation Network operated in pounds and pence, meaning I didn't have to faff on buying Microsoft points. But after it got hacked, MS points look a much safer idea. This thing from Amazon will probably be a boon to parents trying to control the use of the inappropriate christmas present they gave their toddler of a sprog.