Amazon Coins – The era of virtual coins begins here (?)


Imagine a world where you trade your dollars for virtual money. You keep a track of the conversion rates as you move from one site to the other. Imagine what it would be like when credit cards show you credit limits in terms of virtual money. And what if your credit card itself is virtual?

Back in 2005, Philip Rosedale, the founder and CEO of Second Life, gave an interesting interview . He said “The GNP of Second Life in September 2005 was L$906,361,808 or U.S.$3,596,674, based on the recent L/U.S. exchange rate”. Now the interesting idea there is L/US Exchange rate. The rates varied just like the conversion rates for real money.

For this same reason, when Amazon announced their “Amazon coins”, I was excited. Now obviously, with spending amazon coins also comes earning amazon coins, a free ride for app developers on Kindle. And of course the whole saga of tax revolt could soon follow.

Now if you take a step further, lets say iTunes starts to go down that path, with Apple coins and so does ebay. And if the rest of the “world” follows suit, you now have a “real” virtual world, with “developed” sites, “developing” sites and “under developed” sites. You could have virtual banks, which loan Amazon coins at a 0.9% APR and of course as you transact between sites, you could watch a daily ticker of conversion rates.

I guess I’m overthinking here. Maybe it’s an overdose of caffeine taking its effect. But Amazon coins do seem like a promising step towards a virtual economy.


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