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Amazon mints virtual currency for Kindle users

05 Feb 2013
Amazon's new Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD tablets

Amazon is set to release a payment system based on virtual coins in its Kindle AppStore.

The payment system will allow Kindle users to buy apps, games, and in-app purchases using virtual currency. Amazon says the coin-based system will help developers imake more money from their mobile applications.

Amazon will drop the virtual coins onto the market in the US in May. To increase usage of the currency the firm will be offering millions of dollars in free coins to consumers at launch.

One Amazon Coin will be the equivalent to one US cent, so an app priced at $2.99 would cost 299 Coins.

Coins are being touted as a way to increase sales for app developers. Amazon said the virtual currency is an easy alternative to traditional payment methods.

"Developers continue to report higher conversion rates on Amazon compared to other platforms," said vice president of apps and games for Amazon Paul Ryder.

"Now we have another new way to help developers reach even more of our millions of customers. 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."

Coins will use the same developer payout model as traditional payment methods. App developers will receive a 70 percent cut of all app sales.

To use the coin payment system developers will not have to change anything about their pre-existing Kindle apps. Amazon reports that coin purchases will be added to the firms current payment system and require no work from developers.

Apps looking to take part in Coin purchases at launch are encouraged to submit their apps for approval by no later than 25 April.

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James Dohnert
About

James is a freelance writer and editor. In addition to ClickZ, his work has appeared in publications like V3, The Commonwealth Club, CachedTech.com, and Shonen Jump magazine. He studied Journalism at Weber State University.

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