A promotional expedition to the summit of Mt. Everest held by ASKfm has ended in tragedy. ASKfm, a global social networking platform where users can send each other questions to answer, has recently joined the crypto space by creating ASKfm tokens. The social networking company held a promotional expedition for their recent ICO where they sponsored 4 cryptocurrency enthusiasts to claim to the top of Mt. Everest.
The goal was for the travelers to place a wallet of ASKfm tokens at the top of the summit for any daring crypto fans to find. The group was traveling with three Nepalese Sherpas who were trained to help guide the 5.5 mile high trek.
After reaching the top of Mt. Everest, the ASKfm group was forced to immediately descend due to risky weather conditions. The group began their descent with the Sherpa guides lagging behind. On their way down, the group found another climber named Saber Liu who was stranded with out a functioning oxygen tank, eye protection, or gloves. The ASKfm group helped Liu return to safety.
While the group waited at Camp 4, only two of the three Sherpas arrived, while one of the Sherpa guides, Lam Babu, was missing. The last people to see Babu were the other two Sherpas.
ASKfm have given official statements (1, 2) regarding the tragedy, as well as an update that the Sherpa’s location is still unknown. An air rescue team was deployed but the Nepalese authorities have stated the search was uneventful and Lam Babu is still missing and presumed dead.
Though the presumed loss of life during the expedition is sad, we share the view that undertaking a climb to the peak of Mount Everest is a dangerous and life-threatening endeavor under any circumstances — whether related to a cryptocurrency promotion or not. Opportunistically attacking and defaming ASKfm or the cryptocurrency industry because of this unfortunate incident, in our view, lacks journalistic integrity.