Amazon apparently couldn’t let BitCoins have all the fun or potential trouble with the Department of Homeland Security. If you haven’t heard the swirl of rumors online about DHS and Bitcoins, take a look at this article. It is not yet clear the nature of the court orders from DHS to Dwolla and per Mt. Gox they “investigating” what is going on. It will be interesting, as this story progresses, to find out if the issue somehow lies with the use / trade of Bitcoins or is in no way related to the digital currency itself.
Back to Amazon who has launched Amazon Coins. Amazon Coins are only available in the US to Kindle Fire owners and as a part of the launch, Kindle Fire owners are receiving 500 Coins for free. Valued at $.01 each, that’s $5 to spend on games, apps, in-app purchases from the Kindle Appstore and items from Amazon’s retail store.
Amazon is not saying if the Coins will become available to non-Kindle Fire owners. Chances are they are waiting to evaluate the initial interest in their digital currency before opening it up to the wider market.
Amazon Coins are available to be purchased in batches of 1,000, 2,500, 5,000, and 10,000; the more you buy the larger the discount. Customers will also get the added benefit of getting a discount on items they purchase with Amazon Coins.
Only time will tell if digital currencies are here to stay or will fizzle like so many big ideas before them.
Stay tuned to DataBits News for updates on the Department of Homeland Security interest / involvement with Bitcoins.