Amazon Virtual Currency Arrives For Kindle

Amazon virtual currency has struck Kindle.

You’ve heard of bitcoins and the problem they pose with hackers going around and taking them from honest bitcoin miners. However, this isn’t stopping Amazon from promoting the Kindle with a new form of virtual currency.

Kindle Fire users who turn their devices on today will find 500 Amazon Coins stuck in their virtual wallets. Now before you start thinking you’re rich, 500 Amazon Coins is the equivalent of five dollars US. Amazon virtual currency is being used to boost sales for its Kindle apps, and it could very well work. After all, if you give someone a little bit of something they want, they may be willing to buy more.

Amazon says, “For customers, Amazon Coins is an easy way to purchase apps and in-app items on Kindle Fire. For developers, it’s another opportunity to drive traffic, downloads and increased monetization.”

In a way, Amazon virtual currency is a copy of what Microsoft does with Xbox Live downloads. Amazon Coins are Microsoft Points for Kindle users. It may be possible to go to Walmart and buy Amazon Coins on a card in the future.

Amazon says it’s working on ways to let Kindle owners purchase and earn more Amazon Coins, making their mobile reading device and its apps more trendy than they already are. Perhaps in the same way that Microsoft has Xbox 360 owners competing to earn Microsoft Points, Amazon may use games of their own to do the same, or perhaps they might take the Columbia House method and reward you with free stuff for buying a certain amount.

The introduction of Amazon Coins is a bit of a gamble for Amazon, as the promotion costs literally tens of millions of dollars in real-world money. If they play it right, Amazon Coins could take off.

What do you think of Amazon virtual currency for Kindle?