back to article Amazon launches own currency

Amazon.com has started printing its own money. The company's effort, dubbed Amazon Coins, will be familiar to anyone that has acquired Microsoft Points or Nintendo Points, as the Coins require consumers to stump up real-world cash in return for a balance of online-only credit tied to a single store. Coins can be spent in Amazon' …

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Meh

Marketing gimmick

<yawn>

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JDX
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Re: Marketing gimmick

I may be wrong but I'm sure on PS3 if I want to buy film rentals or downloadable games, the ONLY way to do this is via PSN points which you have to buy into your 'wallet' first.

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Re: Marketing gimmick

If I'm reading the article right, this means it's going to be possible to get a 10% discount on every Amazon purchase over $100 - buy $100 worth of AzCoins for $90 and spend immediately, the only risk being that Amazon goes bust in the meantime (like with all voucher schemes).

Useful if you use it like that, so not what I'd call a gimmick.

I suppose Amazon's bosses think this 10% hit will be offset by a greater benefit from all the AzCoins bought that never actually get used.

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Re: Marketing gimmick

Is this basically another gift certificate? Apart from not being able to transfer it to another person I'm not sure I see the difference.

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FAIL

Re: Marketing gimmick

There are no points in PSN - it's a currency-based system... which you can load by redeeming a PSN card or by credit/debit card - so you want to spend 99p it either takes it off your balance (as added by pre-paid PSN card) or charges your credit/debit card...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Marketing gimmick

Its a way of getting your money in their account earlier.

If you buy your Amazon coins, you'll probably by £10 at a time (or some other round number). So even if you buy something, your change will still be knocking about in their bank account earning them interest.

Same with PSN and their prepay cards. Your £20 is theirs till you buy some other non-existent virtual stuff.

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Re: Marketing gimmick (@JDX)

"I may be wrong but I'm sure on PS3 if I want to buy film rentals or downloadable games, the ONLY way to do this is via PSN points which you have to buy into your 'wallet' first."

That's Microsoft points on Xbox. PS3 works off good-old fashioned (well, electronic) money.

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PS3 uses real money

While you can pre-load USD (or EUR, GBP, JPY, whatever your local currency is) on your wallet, you can simply put in your CC details and you'll get charged when you buy stuff.

The Points thingy is with Microsoft, not sure if Nintendo uses the same point thingy with the Wii.

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Facepalm

Re: Marketing gimmick

10% is a pretty big discount, but alas it only works out to be 4%. 1000 coins worth $10 cost $9.60.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: PS3 uses real money

After the last time they were hacked, do you think it is wiser to buy a £20 top-up card or give them your credit card details?

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Itchy and Scratchy money is like real money, but more fun.

(Not accepted everywhere).

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Thumb Up

Re: Itchy and Scratchy money is like real money, but more fun.

Spot on sir, exactly what I was thinking!

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I didn't accept wooden nickels back then ...

Not accepting the concept today, either.

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Monopoly characters

Since it appears as though this is just another large game where we are the pawns can I be the Locomotive.

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Re: Monopoly characters

only if I can be the thimble.

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Anonymous Coward

A Suggestion for Amazon w/r to the new Coin

Dear Amazon;

Please make some model Amazon Coins for me to buy. Not REAL currency of course, since this might be considered illegal. But MODEL coins instead. You know, something similar to an artwork, or a commemorative medallion, or a theoretical physical representation of a virtual entity. Something legal to make and sell (and to buy and accumulate).

Please make these model Coins weigh one troy ounce. Please make them using about 76 percent copper, 9 percent tin, and 15 percent silver. (Feel free to raise or lower the copper & tin content, but I'd really like to have exactly 15 percent silver.)

London spot price for silver was around $23.70 USD the last time I checked...which would make the silver content in an Amazon MODEL Coin worth approx $3.56 USD. I'd be happy to pay $4.00 USD for one, right now. This is a little more than 10 percent above spot for the silver...not counting the copper and tin.

I'd be perfectly happy if you/Amazon checked the spot price for silver every day (or possibly every hour) and priced your Coins appropriately. You've always been fair with me, and I'm happy to be fair with you.

There's many a time that I'm $1.00 to $10.00 short of the Amazon free shipping threshold. (Nope. I'm not an Amazon Prime.) I'd love to have the option to purchase something having intrinsic collector's and metal melt value, to make up the difference.

One more thing, please. Could you embed a hologram, or some other assurance of authenticity? It's unlikely that anyone would bother to counterfit a $4.00 coin, but you never know. Hey! I know! Why not embed a grain-of-rice RFID chip? That way, each Coin would have a computer scannable serial number, built-right in. Heck, I'd pay $5.00 USD for some of those Coins, right now.

- anonymous

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alloy of choice

Anonymous Coward, I’m curious about your preferred alloy for your proposed token. Is it that you prefer a 15% fine silver content only if the token has a mass of one ounce Troy (31.1 g), or is it that you prefer that there be three pennyweights (4.665 g) of fine silver per token, no matter what the mass of the token might be? For example, would you be equally satisified with a token of 80 grains (5.184 g) made of an alloy of .900 fine silver?

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Next step to nationhood

Virtual money to go with virtual tax policy.

Maybe the next step is to pay all Capital gains tax in Amazon currency...

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Re: Next step to nationhood

Certainly sir, we offer a 99.8% discount for paying taxes in Amazon currency.

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American Money Laundering Regulation and Virtual Currencies

As several outfits seem to have discovered, including Linden Research as they operate Second Life, no matter what they do to dress up these things as not-money in their TOS, the US Government is telling they are a virtual currency and requiring bank-level regulation.

Me, I go to Tesco and buy a Google Play gift card, and credit it to my account.

Why does Amazon want a pretend money.

(The Linden Research response to the regulations has been to make it harder for customers to pay them, which sounds weird.)

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Oooh, the Linden Dollar

How has Second Life been doing lately? I had the misfortune of losing my account as the CC that LL was charging expired and I didn't get the notices 'till a month later, so the account was closed. Whoops!

Though by the time I "left", most of the money making businesses were in fact *losing* money, and most of the dudes who went into the Second Life Investing thing ended up with crashed stock or Ponzi'd out (see: "Luke Connell" and the "World Stock Exchange".)

'Twas the unscrupulous investor's paradise: no regulation, no laws, high risk!

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bank-level regulation

It's a shame they can't apply the same to Paypal.

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Anonymous Coward

Amazon had best watch out

Making funny money with no legal backing - the banks already do this with the "fractional" (read: negative) reserve system (a.k.a. "kiting checks").

The banks don't like competition, and are quite happy to be able to get use of the politicians they have on retainer to squash any competitors.

(riddle me this: how can a bank take in $10 in deposits, then issue $80 in loans, and call that legitimate? Where did that extra $70 come from?)

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That's not how fractional reserve banking works, though.

"(riddle me this: how can a bank take in $10 in deposits, then issue $80 in loans, and call that legitimate? Where did that extra $70 come from?)"

Actually it works by taking in $100 in deposits, then issuing $80 in loans. So they remain only with $20 cash, which will work as long as account holders don't do a withdrawal stampede. Theoretically.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That's not how fractional reserve banking works, though.

Unfortunately, while what you said is how it is *supposed* to work, it does not in reality work that way.

In reality:

Deposit 100 moneys.

Bank loans Abe 80 moneys, puts an 80 moneys IOU in the "assets" column. Bank still has 100 moneys of "assets", only 20 moneys of which are real money.

Bank loans Bill 80 moneys, pointing to the 100 moneys of "assets". Other banks nod and wink at the check written against the IOU. Bank puts Bill's IOU next to Abe's.

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Who owes the company store how much?

Is it the case that given these discounts are being offered only to US customers, does this not mean that non US customers are in effect subsidising those purchases? There seems to be a lot of US only discounts/giveways etc by globally trading brands...

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Re: Who owes the company store how much?

"does this not mean that non US customers are in effect subsidising those purchases?"

Probably, but since the costs are spread globally your share would probably be insignificant.

Also, you have to buy stuff before this "subsidy" takes effect and I get the impression that the UK is a hard sell for Amazon, at least, to those would-be UK customers who post in these pages.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Who owes the company store how much?

Now that Amazon has extended "Delivered FREE in the UK with Super Saver Delivery" to also apply to Andorra, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Gibraltar, Greece, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden and the Vatican City, Amazon.co.uk is getting to be a much easier sell. (It'd be even better if there was a way to filter out MarketPlace sellers who offer free UK delivery, but charge £18 for delivery to Europe Zone 1!!!!)

It'd be nice if they left the misleading "in the UK" out of the message, but free delivery is free delivery.

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Fire the engraver

The picture on that Amazon coin is wrong - the woman clearly has both breasts.

The folks at Amazon do know what the name of their firm means, right?

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