Amazon Coins available for Kindle Fire, users enjoy $5 credit to get started

Forget Bitcoin: Amazon's got a digital currency of its own, known as Coins, coming to the Kindle Fire right on schedule. The virtual money, which was originally announced back in February, is now ready to go for anyone who frequents the Amazon Appstore or uses a Kindle Fire to purchase apps and games. Bezos & Co. is willing to throw in a bit of an investment to get you started, as the online retailer will hook up existing and new users with 500 free coins -- a value of $5. Need more than that? Head to the More Coverage link below to grab as many coins as fits your fancy. A 10 percent discount awaits those who purchase in bulk, which adds a tad more incentive to go all-in on the new service.

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Amazon Coins Now Available for Kindle Fire Customers

Every Kindle Fire owner in the U.S. will find $5 worth of free Coins deposited directly into their Amazon account

Customers can also purchase Coins in bulk and receive a discount up to 10%

Tens of millions of dollars worth of Amazon Coins are now in customers' accounts to spend on developers' apps

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May. 13, 2013-- -(NASDAQ: AMZN)-Amazon today announced that customers can now use Amazon Coins to purchase apps, games and in-app items in the Amazon Appstore and on Kindle Fire. To celebrate the launch, existing and new Kindle Fire customers in the U.S. have had 500 free Coins-a $5 value-deposited into their Amazon accounts today. For customers, Amazon Coins is an easy way to purchase apps and in-app items on Kindle Fire, and for developers it's another opportunity to drive traffic, downloads and increased monetization. With discounts of up to 10% for purchasing Coins in bulk, it's also an opportunity for customers to save money on their app and game purchases. Customers can purchase Coins by visiting amazon.com/coins.

"Today we are giving Kindle Fire owners $5 worth of Coins to spend on new apps and games, or to purchase in-app items, such as recipes in iCookbook, song collections in SongPop or mighty falcon bundles in Angry Birds Star Wars. And with discounts of up to 10% when you buy Coins, 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-today is Day One for Coins."

Amazon Appstore developers will earn their standard 70% 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. Developers not yet in the Amazon Appstore should submit their app today through the Amazon Mobile App Distribution Portal (https://developer.amazon.com/welcome.html).

Amazon Coins is the latest offering in an array of services that make Amazon the most complete end-to-end ecosystem for building, monetizing and marketing their apps and games. These capabilities include:

The ability for app developers to use Amazon Web Services' (AWS) technology platform for their infrastructure needs. Building blocks such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), and Amazon DynamoDB allow developers to focus on what differentiates their app rather than the undifferentiated heavy lifting of infrastructure.
App submission for distribution to nearly 200 countries globally enables developers to reach millions more Amazon customers worldwide.
In-App Purchasing on Kindle Fire, Mac, PC and web-based games. This enables developers to sell virtual items in their apps and games while allowing their end users to simply use their Amazon accounts to make the purchase.
GameCircle, which includes capabilities like Achievements, Leaderboards, Friends and Whispersync for syncing games across devices, and leads to better engagement with games.
Game Connect, which lets developers list their virtual goods for sale on Amazon, increasing discoverability of their games and making the purchase of virtual goods as easy and convenient as possible for customers, leading to increased monetization for developers.