Amazon launched its virtual currency, Amazon Coins, giving all U.S. Kindle Fire tablet owners $5 worth of free coins in their Amazon accounts and discounts for purchasing more in bulk.

The Seattle-based online retailer's virtual coins can be used to purchase games, apps and in-app virtual goods on the Kindle Fire tablet and within Amazon's app store.  Amazon announced Amazon Coins in February.

Customers receive discounts for buying Amazon Coins in bulk. For example, when customers purchase 500 Coins – a $5 value – they spend $4.80. Discounts increase with higher purchases. Consumers can receive 10,000 Coins for $90, which is a 10% discount.

"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," says Mike George, vice president of apps and games at Amazon, in a May 13 press release. "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."

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