A stunt that was intended to play on cryptocurrencies biggest meme, the idea the prices will someday skyrocket "to the moon", left one man presumed dead. The stunt involved climbing Mount Everest for one of the world's top 10 social media networks, ASKfm, which was promoting the companies brand new Initial Coin Offering (ICO). Four "crypto enthusiasts" scaled Mount Everest with the help of Sherpas.
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ASKfm wanted to give early investors a chase to pre-buy some of its cryptocurrency before its launch and to promote the ICO it sent the four enthusiasts on an expedition to Mount Everest. The plan was to bury $50,000 worth of ASKT, the company's cryptocurrency in a nano ledger at the top of the mountain but the team underestimated the difficulty of the tasks. The team of four made it to the top on May 14 and made it back safely but one of the members suffered frostbite on several of his fingers and toes.
A statement on ASKfm's Medium page says, "The statement here is that ASKfm 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."
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But ASKfm's statement made no mention of Lam Babu Sherpa, one of the Sherpas who helped the four-man team get to the top and back. Lam Babu Sherpa was left behind during the descent from Mount Everest and is presumed dead. He had climbed to the top of Mount Everest three times. ASKfm's CEO Max Tsaryk said it was later made "aware" that someone went missing on the trip and the "condition and location of the missing Sherpa was unknown" but responded that it was not their place to "make public statements which could've resulted in false information being circulated".
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