We knew it was coming this month, but Amazon has finally made its new virtual currency available to customers in the US.

Back in February, we reported that Amazon was gearing up to launch its new ‘Coins’ virtual currency for Kindle Fire app purchases.

This is all part of Amazon’s plans to help app developers monetize their Appstore submissions, enabling Kindle Fire owners to purchase apps, games and make in-app purchases on their tablet.

For launch, every Kindle Fire owner will be given $5 worth of Coins, which in effect is 500 coins. This is consistent with what Amazon announced a few months back, saying it would be dishing out “millions of dollars” worth of Amazon Coins for free.

“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,” says Mike George, Vice President of Apps and Games at Amazon.

“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,” he continues. “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 the usual 70% revenue share when consumers make purchases using Amazon Coins. But from a consumer perspective, introducing credits is designed not only to make it easier for people to purchase content, but it also alters the consumer mindset so that they’re not thinking directly in terms of ‘money’.

Previously, Amazon only allowed credit cards to be associated with a Kindle Fire device, so with credits now in tow, this also plays into the hands of parents looking to keep a tab on how much their kids are spending. If they only want them to spend, say, $10 a month, then that’s the amount of credit they load.

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