The New York State Attorney General has started an investigation into 13 biggest cryptocurrency exchanges trading bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

State AG Eric Schneiderman said Tuesday it sent letters to 13 major exchanges, asking about their general operations, personnel, and policies around privacy, fraud and money laundering.

“With cryptocurrency on the rise, consumers in New York and across the country have a right to transparency and accountability when they invest their money,”

Schneiderman said in a press statement.

The exchanges questioned include market leaders like Coinbase, Gemini Trust, Bitfinex and Kraken.

US and international authorities have increasingly voiced concern about the need to ramp up oversight and regulations as use of virtual currencies has grown quickly.

The Virtual Markets Integrity initiative aims to tighten regulation for cryptocurrency exchanges.

 

“With cryptocurrency on the rise, consumers in New York and across the country have a right to transparency and accountability when they invest their money,”

said Attorney General Schneiderman.

“Yet too often, consumers don’t have the basic facts they need to assess the fairness, integrity, and security of these trading platforms.

“Our Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative sets out to change that, promoting the accountability and transparency in the virtual currency marketplace that investors and consumers deserve.”

 

In addition to above mentioned exchanges, letters went to others as well, including bitFlyer, Binance, Gate.io, and itBit.

Cryptocurrency exchanges have been a target of regulators worldwide, from Japan to Chile. Many of them have issues with their banking accounts being shut down or owners being forced to close the operations under legal threats of local regulators.

This is a double-edged sword: on one hand it is good to force exchanges to tighten up their operations and implement high standard practices, especially in the context of security and transparency. On the other hand, these types of actions usually reflect poorly on the market and prices of cryptocurrencies.

The investigation is launched just a day after International Monetary Fund (IMF) boss Christine Lagarde called for an even-handed approach to regulation in the cryptocurrency space.

As always, never boring in bitcoin universe!

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