ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's attorney general is launching an inquiry into the operations of several leading virtual currency trading platforms.

The office of Democrat Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday that it has sent letters to 13 virtual currency exchanges seeking information including about their ownership, operations, internal controls and fee structure.

Schneiderman says that as cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, grow in popularity it's essential to ensure consumers in New York and across the nation understand more about exchanges before making an investment.

Virtual currency trading platforms act as third-party intermediaries between those looking to buy and sell virtual currencies.

The letters request a "detailed and clear" response from each of the exchanges no later than May 1.

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