Amazon Coins launches in UK with free money offer

Amazon has unveiled its new virtual currency Amazon Coins in the UK and Germany, allowing users to buy apps and in-app purchases on its line of Kindle Fire tablets.

As part of the launch, the firm is depositing 400 Amazon Coins (worth 4) in the digital wallets of Kindle Fire owners.

The retail giant said the aim of the new currency was to make it easier and cheaper for customers to buy content for its devices. It touted benefits for developers as an another opportunity to "drive traffic, downloads and increased monetisation."

The firm said that Amazon Appstore developers would earn their standard 70 per cent revenue share when customers make purchases using Amazon Coins. No Coins-specific changes are required for developers with apps and games currently in the Amazon Appstore.

The online retail major is selling virtual currency at a bulk discount, with up to 10 per cent for consumers who buy about 10,000 coins at once.

"Today we are giving Kindle Fire owners 4 worth of Coins to spend on new apps and games, such as Candy Crush Saga and Angry Birds Star Wars. And with discounts of up to 10 per cent when you buy Coins in bulk, this is a great way for customers to save money when they buy apps, games and in-app items," said Mike George, vice president of Apps and Games at Amazon.

"We will continue to add more ways to earn and spend Coins on a wider range of content and activities."

The UK promotion follows on from the Amazon Coins launch in the US last year. At the time, the internet retailer gave away tens of millions of dollars in Amazon Coins to customers to spend on apps in its Amazon Appstore.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.