Russian economist and Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration member Vladislav Ginko is back with his assertion that the country\u2019s government is rapidly moving away from its dependence on the U.S. dollar and into the cryptocurrency realm. Ginko made similar claims this past January, which were later refuted, but he has held his ground and has now stepped forward to say that a number of companies and wealthy individuals have purchased over $8 billion in Bitcoin Core (BTC). According to Bitcoinist, Ginko states, \u201c1.8 million BTC were bought by Russian companies and wealthy Russians. There is no direct involvement of Russian state but some who buy bitcoin are awaiting that the increasing U.S. sanctions will make impossible to do international transactions as usual so they purchase bitcoin as a way to circumvent U.S. sanctions.\u201d He added, \u201cThere is no direct influence of Russia\u2019s purchases to the bitcoin price but in mid-term it starts playing role in driving bitcoin higher. Russia\u2019s companies and people, especially those who are under risk being put on OFAC list, have to purchase bitcoins indirectly, buying up digital wallets when they may formally still belong to some U.S. citizens.\u201d OFAC is part of the U.S. Treasury Department. It has introduced a number of sanctions against Russia and there is talk that it could soon ban the use of dollars by the country\u2019s oil companies. Ginko asserts that he is a person \u201cdeeply involved in political and economic affairs of Russia frequently cited person in Russia\u2019s media\u201d in order to support his claims. He also expects BTC\u2019s price to reach $2 million before the end of this year, driven by Russia\u2019s involvement with the digital currency. In a Twitter post, Ginko predicted, \u201cWhen I've predicted that Russia's rush to avoid sanctions will bring about $2,000,000 per Bitcoin at the end of current year, many were stalled. But Moscow has already bought million BTC to secure oil&gas deals when U.S. dollars will be banned by OFAC for Russian companies.\u201d BTC could already be on its way\u2014it has risen to just under $5,000 since Tuesday. It still has a long way to go to reach $2 million, but there\u2019s a lot of time left in 2019.