Amazon touts virtual currency for Kindle Fire lineup

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Amazon has introduced a new virtual currency targeted at Kindle Fire tablet owners for the purchase of apps and in-game items.

The online retailer also says the new currency - dubbed Coins - will help game devs make money with app on the Kindle Fire.

The virtual coins will launch in the United States in May, with Amazon confirming that it will be giving customers tens of millions of dollars worth of free Coins to spend on its curated app storefront.

Interestingly, Amazon says developers will make the standard 70% revenue share when customers purchase apps using Amazon Coins. Existing apps available via Amazon won't require changes to be compatible with Coins, although new apps have to be submitted by April 25 to be ready for the currency's roll-out.

"Developers continue to report higher conversion rates on Amazon compared to other platforms. Now we have another new way to help developers reach even more of our millions of customers," said Amazon VP Paul Ryder.

"Amazon Coins gives customers an easy way to spend money on developers’ apps on Kindle Fire in the Amazon Appstore—and we’re giving customers tens of millions of dollars in Amazon Coins to get started. Developers who aren’t yet in the Amazon Appstore will want to make sure their apps have been submitted and approved by April 25 so they’re ready for customers to start spending their Amazon Coins."

Unfortunately, it's unclear exactly how much the Amazon Coins will cost, at least at this point. Meaning, the coins could be one point equals one dollar or they may have some other value.