The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that it has obtained documents detailing a secret US Securities and Exchange Commission probe into bitcoin trading.
The Securities and Futures Commission is probing the bitcoin industry for whether the technology is legal and regulated in the United States.
Bitcoin’s market capitalization stands at $16.9 billion, making it one of the most popular investment vehicles in the world, according to the S&P 500.
The SEC probe is the first to look into whether bitcoin is a commodity under federal securities laws.
“This is not an inquiry into the cryptocurrency,” SEC spokesperson Sarah Hagan said in an email to the WSJ.
“It is not a legal examination, but rather a legal review of the technology.”
It is unclear whether the SEC is looking into bitcoin specifically.
The WSJ story cited three sources with knowledge of the investigation, who said the agency is looking at bitcoin trading platforms, including Coinbase and Coinbase.
It is not known if the SEC has been investigating other platforms.
The documents also indicate that the agency has subpoenaed the records of more than 100,000 companies for information.
The regulators are also probing how bitcoin companies manage their digital assets, including trading and investments.
Coinbase and its parent company, Coinbase Inc., have been the target of a criminal investigation into alleged money laundering and other crimes, according the WSj.
“Coinbase has never received a subpoena,” said the SEC’s Hagan.
“We don’t know how long they have had those requests.”
The SEC is expected to publish the documents in the coming weeks.