Amazon to roll out Amazon Coins virtual currency

5 Feb 2013

E-commerce giant Amazon is hoping to cash in with its own virtual currency, Amazon Coins, that Kindle Fire users will be able to spend on apps, games and in-app items.

Amazon Coins will be available in the US in May, but today the company deemed the currency as an easy way for Kindle Fire customers to spend money in the Amazon Appstore, and for app and game developers the currency offers another opportunity to drive traffic, downloads and increase monetisation.

With Amazon Coins in place, developers will still receive the same 70pc revenue share, whether the customer uses the coins or their own money.

However, developers need to ensure their new apps and app dates are submitted and approved by 25 April for the best chance of being available for coins purchases.

At launch, Amazon will give customers tens of millions of dollars’ worth of free Amazon Coins to spend on apps. Customers will also have the ability to buy more coins via their Amazon accounts, the company said.

“Everyone recognises Amazon’s success in the e-commerce world – now the Amazon Appstore has become a major player in the mobile app marketplace,” said Misha Lyalin, CEO of entertainment and gaming company ZeptoLab.

“Amazon’s new virtual currency is designed to open new opportunities for developers and make things easier for customers. This is a great example of app store innovation and we want to support it.”

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic