ASKfm, the social media site that lets friends ask anonymous questions, decided to launch their own cryptocurrency – and to celebrate the launch, they planned an elaborate promotional stunt involving four climbers and the highest mountain in the world.
The social media site sent a team of three crypto enthusiasts on an expedition to climb Mount Everest. At the top, they would bury a nano ledger – a small USB drive device – containing $50,000 worth of ASKT, their new cryptocurrency they have planned an Initial Coin Offering for. Why? They wanted to send their currency “to the moon” – a popular meme amongst crypto communities.
The climbers reached the summit on May 14 and successfully buried the nano ledger. In a Medium post, the company described the expedition and the intentions behind it.
“While others try sophisticated marketing techniques, these guys went out there and put themselves right on top of the highest mountain on the planet. An elegant way to boast ideological superiority to every other crypto. A way quite strangely unexplored before. Even memes-wise, think about the closest starting point to reach the moon. It seems so obvious, yet no one has done it,” the company wrote.
What the company failed to mention, however, was Lam Baby Sherpa: the Nepalese mountain guide who helped carry gear and lead these otherwise-inexperienced climbers to 29,000 feet. The sherpa, a veteran of three previous Everest climbs, was left behind by the group and is presumed to be dead.
One of the ASKfm climbers was reported as stating: “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 7900m, and one Sherpa was dying. That’s all we know.” The climber continued: “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.”
Upon reaching Camp 4, one of the crypto climbers had developed altitude sickness. They descended to Camp 2, where they called for a helicopter evacuation.
As for the $50,000 worth of cryptocurrency? There’s no word as to whether or not it’s been retrieved yet, but with climbing season in full swing and an average of 600 summits each season, it’s sure to turn up soon.