Well, BitInstant is insistent that it will launch a BitCoin debit card, but MasterCard is claiming it will not be part of the plans. After a mock up of the plastic made the rounds featuring the company's logo, the financial powerhouse felt it necessary to reach out to us, clarifying its non-involvement.
"MasterCard has no relationship with BitInstant. There are issuers who allow the conversion of Bitcoins to US dollars and other currencies, delivered on prepaid cards. However, we're not aware of this particular programme from BitInstant."
Of course, if you read the transcript of Charlie Shrem's chat announcing the plans, he never actually names MasterCard. The logo was likely meant as a placeholder -- one that some outlets took a little too literally.
Interestingly, this doesn't actually mean that MasterCard won't be involved... just that the company isn't at this point in the process. BitInstant released its own statement, just hours after the card house contacted us, saying that it has been working with MasterCard affiliates, but had yet to submit to the financial firm directly.
"The card program is moving forward and the arrangement with MasterCard will be handled in due time at the proper stage of the process by the partners who work directly with that company."
So, what have we learned today? Not a whole heck of a lot actually, other than the fact that putting out a debit card is a complicated business. You'll just have to stay tuned to see how this shakes out.