Here come Amazon Coins! A place to put your money where you can’t get it back out and it’s possibly worth less over time and it can only be used to buy shitty Android games! Sign up today! (Lots of ca-ching! sounds and cheering.)

Amazon isn’t the only company to do this—Microsoft started Microsoft Points with Xbox and they’ve been tricking customers into spending more than they meant to for years. Microsoft points are currently worth 80 to the US dollar, meaning prices for games and media look cheaper than they are. A song for 79 points? That’s cheaper than in iTunes! Oh, wait, 79 points is actually 99¢. Oops. Amazon started their coins at 1:1 with a US penny, so that’s something, but that could easily change in the future without warning or notice. Take a peek at their coins terms of use, you’ll notice there’s nothing in there about permanence of value or guarantees against rate changes. You could purchase 10,000 coins today and they’re worth $100 USD, but there’s no guarantee they aren’t going to be worth $80 next year.

These kinds of monetary systems are designed to get customers to lock in a bunch of cash they can’t later get back out (no refunds or exchanges in this program, of course), and they’re baited with “discounts” to get people to dump large amounts of cash into the ether. If you buy hundreds of dollars of coins at once, Amazon will give you a discount on them, up to 10%. But at the end of the day, you’re still giving Amazon hundreds of dollars that you might not spend for months or that you have to worry about managing separate from, you know, your bank accounts. And if you buy coins at discounted rates, good luck remembering how much you paid for any of these apps, since your coins will be worth different amounts all the time.

We already have money, it’s called money.