New York's banking regulator issued subpoenoas to about two dozen companies associated with bitcoin as it looks into the virtual-currency industry, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The subpoenas, issued by the Department of Financial Services, seek information on topics including anti-money laundering, consumer protection and investment strategies, the report said, citing the people, which it didn't identify. The subpoenas were issued late last week, the Journal said.

The department is considering setting new guidelines aimed at virtual currencies, the report said, citing a memo from Benjamin Lawsky, the agency's head. The memo, which the regulator plans to issue today, expresses concern that virtual currency companies aren't complying with the state's money- transmission laws, the WSJ said.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency created four years ago that can be used to buy and sell a broad array of items, from electronics to illegal narcotics.