What had seemed to be the perfect PR stunt for Ukrainian crypto startup ASKfm’s ICO has turned into tragedy with the death of a Sherpa at the summit of Mount Everest.
A PR stunt for the approaching ICO (Initial Coin Offering) of a Ukrainian cryptocurrency startup named ASKfm has ended with the death of a Sherpa at the peak of Mount Everest. The Sherpa – 45-year old Lam Babu Sherpa – had been helping a group of climbers affiliated with ASKfm to hide a cryptocurrency wallet at the summit. The wallet contained 500,000 ASKfm tokens, and that would be the incentive for any cryptocurrency enthusiast “brave enough” to scale Mount Everest and find it.
ASKfm have said that the 500,000 tokens were worth $50,000, although that estimate cannot be based on any actual market data since ASKfm’s ICO has not yet taken place.
Conflicting Statements On Sherpa’s Demise
ASKfm’s representatives on the Everest expedition were so called “crypto enthusiasts” Taras Pozdnii, Roman Gorodechnii, and Dmitrii Semenko. They were accompanied by several Sherpas including the man who died. Their objective was to climb Everest and then place/hide a ledger-wallet holding 500,000 in ASKfm tokens at the peak. However, once they had achieved their goal, for some reason as of yet not clearly ascertained, the Sherpa who had been their guide and aid on the climb died.
There is clearly some concern about what exactly happened to Lam Babu Sherpa, and this concern has not been eased by the ASKfm team apparently given conflicting statements. At one point, there was even a claim that the Sherpa was assisting a separate group of climbers at the time of his disappearance.
One claim is that he was hit with “snow blindness”, slipped and fell off the route and disappeared. Another is that he couldn’t move due to exhaustion and froze to death.
Meanwhile, Alan Arnette (pictured), a world-renowned Colorado-based mountaineer and one of the foremost experts on Everest and Everest-related happenings, said that he has some serious questions for the ASKfm team about the events that led to Lam Babu Sherpa’s disappearance and subsequent death. He wrote on his blog:
“I find it hard to understand how the 45 year-old Sherpa developed snow blindness, was reported to be staggering and no one was able to help him. I look forward to obtaining more details on this sad event.”