Want to save a little money when you buy apps or games from the Amazon Appstore? Amazon is now offering a virtual currency called Amazon Coins, with each coin worth about a penny. But you get a discount for buying in bulk.

You can pick up 500 coins for $4.80, which save you about 2-percent. Or you can save as much as 10 percent by picking up 5000 coins for $45.

Amazon is also giving away 500 coins for free to Kindle Fire owners. But the company’s not just launching its new virtual currency as a way to save you money.

Amazon Coins

Since coins can only be redeemed in the Appstore, once you’ve converted dollars to Amazon Coins, you’re pretty much committed to buying more content from Amazon. And even if you don’t, the company’s already got your money.

In addition to buying apps and games, you can spend coins on in-app content. Since you’ve already given Amazon your money in exchange for coins, it might be easier to justify spending a little money on extra lives, a bigger gun, or a new soundtrack for the game you’re playing.

Amazon expects to give out tens of millions of dollars worth of free coins to Kindle Fire owners, which is a way to help encourage users to buy content from the Appstore. It’s also a way to hand out free money to app developers — because every time someone “buys” an item from the Appstore, the developer of that content will get 70-percent of the money.

The Amazon Appstore is already probably the second largest marketplace for Android apps (Google’s Play Store is the biggest), but this move could help encourage more developers to bring their software to Amazon.

While there’s a lot of focus on the Kindle Fire, anyone with an Android device use the Amazon Appstore. You just need to enable support for apps from unknown sources in your phone or tablet’s settings before installing the Amazon Appstore.

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4 replies on “Amazon Coins: A virtual currency, no mining required”

  1. It is not a currency. Why mention mining anyway in relation to this? It is nothing more than a gift certificate or air miles of sorts. One needs to be blind to not see it.

  2. Hmm, not micropayments but more like centipayments. Or some sort of KindleKoupons?
    Do the the app sellers get paid in USD or in transferred ACs? Will apps be able to trade in ACs like they sell your game pseudo-money for real money via in-app transactions?

    1. Sorry, typo: “sell your” = “sell you” above. Games don’t give real cash for game cash (as far as I know), I meant the other way around.

    2. Nope, you can’t transfer them to other people at all!
      And you can’t sell them back to Amazon for dollars.
      And you can only use them to buy apps on your Kindle. You can’t even use them to buy books for your Kindle.
      It isn’t a “currency” at all but a non-transferable gift card.

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