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Amazon launching its own Appstore currency for use with Kindle Fire this May

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Amazon will launch Amazon Coins this May, a virtual currency tied to the Amazon Appstore for use on its Kindle Fire tablet, the company announced today.

Kindle Fire owners can purchase Amazon Coins through their Amazon accounts and use them for games, apps and other in-app goods through the Amazon Appstore, similar to Microsoft's use of Points with the Xbox Live Marketplace. Amazon plans to give its customers "tens of millions of dollars' worth" of free Coins to kick off the service's launch in spring.

Game and app developers will earn a 70 percent revenue share when Amazon customers purchase their software using Amazon Coins. Current U.S. developers with apps on the Appstore will automatically be enrolled in the service when it goes live. Developers who have not yet released software through the Amazon Appstore must send in submissions before April 25 in order for apps to be compatible with Coins when the program launches in May.

The introduction of Amazon Coins is Amazon's latest endeavor to provide mobile developers with a "complete end-to-end ecosystem" for publishing, marketing and monetizing their software. Last month the company launched an in-app purchasing service for use with Kindle Fire, Windows PC, Mac, web-based games and Android devices.