Every modern version of Apple’s Mac computers are said to have a copy of the original Bitcoin white paper written by Satoshi Nakamoto already installed in them.
Many Apple users have reportedly come across the file while using their Macs for different purposes. The file has been found in various Mac versions from Mojave (10.14.0) released in 2018, up to the current version, and the most recently released version is Ventura (13.3).
Bitcoin White Paper Hidden in MacOS Since 2018
According to a recent blog post by American technologist Andy Baio, the Bitcoin white paper PDF file appears to have been included in every macOS version since 2018, and not in older versions like High Sierra (10.13), launched in 2017.
Baio stated that he discovered the file while fixing his printer to scan a document. He stumbled upon a device named “Virtual Scanner ||,” which he had never seen before, and upon inspection, found the Bitcoin white paper had been used as a sample document for the device.
Baio tested the command “open/System/Library/ImageCapture/Devices/VirtualScanner.app/Contents/Resources/simpledoc.pdf”, on more than a dozen of his Mac-using friends’ devices, and all of their Macs had a copy of the white paper in them.
Within the resources folder, Baio also found another file called “cover.jpg,” which contained a JPEG photo of a Treasure Island sign taken by photographer Thomas Hawk.
Why Bitcoin’s White Paper?
It’s worth noting that before Baio’s recent discovery, some Apple users had already shared similar findings. A designer named Joshua Dickens tweeted about finding both files on his Mac in November 2020. In April 2021, another Mac user, bernd178, also reported coming across the same experience in the MacOS community forum.
“It shows a photo by Thomas Hawk. I also found the device in /System/Library/Image Capture/Devices. Weirdly, there is also a PDF with the original Bitcoin white paper from Satoshi Nakamoto in the VirtualScanner.app Package Content. Why is this in /System? Is this really from Apple? What is it good for?” bernd178 asked.
The reason for Bitcoin’s white paper being found in Apple’s products remains unclear. Despite several users reporting the discovery over the past two years, the technology company has yet to comment on the matter, indicating they have no plans to address it.