An ICO publicity stunt staged at Nepal’s Mount Everest led to the death of one person last week, the Financial Times’ Alphaville reported recently.
The stunt, organized by Ukranian global social networking site ASKfm, was staged in order to promote the company’s initial coin offering by placing a ledger wallet holding the new tokens at the summit. YouTube’s promotional video had linked Everest with what they called. “literally the highest token” in their scripted piece asking anyone “brave enough” to come and get it. The wallet tokens were reported to have been worth USD$50,000 at launch.
Three crypto enthusiasts, Taras Pozdnii, Roman Gorodechnii and Dmitrii Semenko were sponsored to do the dangerous climb to position the two wallets, the second containing an equal amount of coins, as part of the promo event.
The accident occurred on the crews’ descent from the world’s highest peak, according to Everest blogger Alan Arnette’s confirmed report on the FT, as one of the crews accompanying Sherpas, Lam Babu, died after the filming. Russian media site 4Sport.ua reported that Lam Babu Sherpa had died, either due to snow blindness or physical exhaustion.
Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism later confirmed the reports, suggesting that the Sherpa had indeed died due to snow blindness on the descent. A later 4Ssport report released by the Ukrainian team describe the accident:
“In a second – animal fear, and I shout to Dima – let’s get out of here, or these will be the last pictures we’ll ever take. At this time there were three of our sherpa at the top, we saw Dima’s sherpa and as it turned out, he did not return to the camp.”
One of the climbers descending with the Sherpa wrote an untranslatable report, and Arnette suggests on his blog page that there is still an element of mystery about the exact events:
“I confirmed the events the day of the death with Gyanendra Shrestha, the Ministry’s representative at EBC who said he had snow blindness, went “missing” and the rescue team stationed at Camp 2 was unaware of the incident as it was happening. 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”
Max Tsaryk, CEO of ASKfm, told the FT that, “we have become aware that a Sherpa who successfully assisted one of our sponsored climbers on a part of their journey, prior to assisting other non-related groups of climbers, later became missing:”
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