On May 14, three Ukrainian climbers helped by two Sherpas summited Mount Everest in order to burry one of two Ledger wallets filled with Ask.fm’s new cryptocurrency, ASKT.
The marketing stunt played with the “to the moon” idea all crypto-traders have (that their coin will reach unprecedented values) and sent two wallets stacked with the ASKT new crypto coin, worth around $100,000 in total.
One Ledger was left on top of Everest, daring people to go retrieve it, while the other one was going to be raffled to whitelisted members in the ICO campaign.
A project created by Ask.fm, the Quora-like Q&A social platform, it was promoted with a May 17 press release as soon as the climbers returned to basecamp.
However, all was not good, as new reports show that one of the two Sherpas, Sherpa Lam Babu, tragically lost his life.
“At the top of Everest the weather was very bad, and then we were coming down. We were going down to Camp 4, which is at about 7900 m, and one Sherpa was dying. That’s all we know. … He was behind us, so we don’t know what happened to him. We were going fast and the Sherpa wasn’t coming with us. He was coming behind so we didn’t see him,” said one of the ASKfm climbers in a statement.
However, as CNET pointed out, before news broke about the demise of Sherpa Lam Babu, Ask.fm was happily sharing the success of the mission in a Medium post.
“The statement here is that Ask.fm is not at all afraid to rise to challenges. They’re conquering Everest because it’s out there to conquer. By doing so they claim: if they’re bold enough to do it, they’re bold enough to turn a social network into a blockchain ecosystem, and they’re definitely bold enough to overturn the market with their new product”
Then, the company posted its own statement, clarifying the lack of transparency over the incident:
“The last official update we received was that the condition and location of the missing Sherpa was unknown and it was not our place to make public statements which could’ve resulted in false information being circulated.”
The buried Nanoledger holding ASKT is still on Everest, as is the body of Sherpa Lam Babu. Has the cryptocurrency craze gone too far?