Exclusion List Now Includes Russia, Panama, and Alabama

An industry colleague let me know that recently updated its list of countries and regions that are not supported by the company. Previously, the list of unsupported countries included “Belarus, Cuba, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Moldova, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe.” The updated list now includes the Russian Federation, Panama, Ukraine, and even the US state of Alabama, among quite a few other countries. This means users in those regions can not buy or sell domain names (or other things) via

I reached out to Matt Barrie, CEO of, the company that owns I asked Matt if he could share more information about the list of excluded countries and what that means for clients. Here’s what Matt shared with me via email today:

“Unfortunately in today’s world we live in a heightened regulatory environment around financial services. Those countries are deemed high risk by the US banking system and incur heightened compliance costs and as such we have discontinued supporting them.

In the State of Alabama, has been in application for money transmission licensing for a number of years. Obtaining licensing is a rigorous and detailed process that doesn’t happen overnight. We have now moved into the final stages and the regulator has asked to pause transactions until they have completed processing our application. We expect this will only be temporary. is the world’s oldest, largest and most licensed online escrow provider. has 47 U.S. financial services licenses granted or in-application. Four states do not require to hold licenses (Indiana, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Wisconsin). Additionally holds an Australian Financial Services License. No other online escrow provider comes close to the level of licensing that has.

We are continually working to expand our regulatory footprint and supported regions and currencies. We will be imminently announcing that we have expanded support to a major new country and currency in the next few months. We are executing on a detailed program for expansion in many other jurisdictions.

We take licensing very seriously and it comes with significant operating costs. A strong regulatory environment not only protects buyers and sellers of domain names but enhances the standing of the domain name industry. This contrasts with a number of rogue operators in the space who are unlicensed or provide unlicensed escrow services through the smokescreen of a marketplace or registrar. “

Users who are not located in countries on the list will need to be more diligent about asking the counter party where they are located. If the other party is located in a country on the list (or Alabama), the deal will not be able to transact via

US based businesses are typically prohibited from transacting with people and companies from several countries that are on the list, but this updated list goes beyond that. If you are doing a deal with a company based in one of the listed countries (or Alabama), you will need to use an alternative escrow service or an escrow-licensed attorney to transact.

Elliot Silver
Elliot Silver
About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has closed eight figures in deals. Please read the Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest. Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn


  1. We don’t accept escrow from Russia, Iraq, Libya and oh yeah I forgot one, Alabama. LMAO. Doesn’t say much for Alabama does it.

  2. Andrew Rosener will be “happy” (it’s ironic) about that … Media Options is a Panama’s company (SA) … LOL!
    Guess why he was moving his names to a Gibraltar company, Internet Real Estate … 😉

  3. “Those countries are deemed high risk by the US banking system and incur heightened compliance costs and as such we have discontinued supporting them.”

    China next?

  4. What is also interesting Elliot is how they informed their long time customers (from those counties). I used Escrow for over three years, and I found out about such news from NamePros. didn’t even send an email to me — silently closed my account. It speaks a lot about them.

  5. Ok, we need Brandon Abbey to give us another alternative. Payoneer Escrow was excellent. just keeps getting less user friendly and restrictive.

  6. I’m doing a $10,000 deal with Russians in Moscow at this very moment via Uniregistry Market wire transfer. Uni appears to be OK with Russian transactions between Moscow and Grand Cayman.

  7. I had a high sale transaction via that began in June and I just received the funds today due to KYC being delayed — the buyer was/is well-known VC in Silicon Valley, originally from India. It took calls, emails. and more to finally complete this deal.

    How I wish Brandon Abbey was still at Escrow. He was fantastic. Such a nice person.

  8. @Richard, Sedo is not licensed for Escrow as far as I know and remember. If they are claiming that they are performing Escrow, safe money transfer, or holding funds, in their work flow I would be extremely careful not to get reported on; unless they have the licensing to back it up, that is.

    Regarding the restriction of Alabama (of all places) – you’re typically not asked to halt operations for an application review.

    Seems a bit odd for a state that Escrow (same company licensed in all these other rigorous states – CA, NY, FL, TX) had previously been conducting business in – before the submission of the application – to all of a sudden say no to their service while reviewing the app and also seemingly making it a requirement to make the “review” public.

    Also found calling out marketplaces and registrars at the end of the statement to be interesting considering those are the verticals that are most suitable and lucrative for Escrow to integrate with.

    Would be great to have a competitor in the space that supported the vision and enthusiasm of the domaining industry like Escrow used to.


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