Amazon Launches Their Own Currency, But You Can't Buy Books With It

Amazon Coins

Amazon joins the relatively short list of companies offering their own form of digital currency, unveiling "Coins" on Monday. The online retailer supplemented this announcement by allotting 500 free Coins (the equivalent of $5) to Kindle Fire owners, The Guardian reports.

While this may seem like an excellent way to manage your book budget, Coins cannot be used on physical reads, eBooks, or any type of physical merchandise. Rather, Coins are intended for apps, games and in-app purchases. On top of that, Coins are only available to US customers at this time.

Reaction seems to be mixed, with some customers excited that they can better monitor their children's purchases, and others failing to see the point altogether. I have to say, I'm in the latter camp. Nintendo utilizes digital currency for the Wii, making you first by points so that you can then by games. Why can't I just plug in my credit card number and buy games? Why this extra step? The obvious answer is, of course, most companies hope you'll never actually spend through all their proprietary currency, and thus they receive free money. Coins never expire, but still...

It seems Amazon is also trying to drum up more awareness of their non-readable products, no doubt to better compete with Apple, but not including books in with Coins seems a bit shortsighted. Perhaps we'll see this change in the future.

What does everyone think about this? Silly, or useful?

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