Is tech giant Apple a secret supporter of Bitcoin or did an employee act on his own? This is the question currently being asked by the Bitcoin community after independent blogger Andy Baio revealed in a post that the Bitcoin whitepaper is hidden in every modern copy of macOS.
As Baio explains, a copy of the BTC whitepaper has been included since version 10.14.0 and has not been removed since. It’s been included in every version of macOS from Mojave (10.14.0), released in September 2018, to the current version, but not High Sierra (10.13) or earlier.
The blogger became aware of the Bitcoin whitepaper rather by accident. “While trying to fix my printer today, I discovered that a PDF copy of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper,” Baio said, explaining that the file is used in the Image Capture utility as a sample document for a device called “Virtual Scanner II,” which is either hidden or not installed by default for everyone.
If one knows where it is hidden, the BTC whitepaper is easy to find. Mac users just need to type the following command into the terminal:
open /System/Library/Image Capture/Devices/VirtualScanner.app/Contents/Resources/simpledoc.pdf
If users are running macOS 10.14 or higher, the Bitcoin whitepaper will open in preview immediately. Users who don’t know how to use a command line can use the Finder and click their way through, Baio explained:
Click on Macintosh HD, then open the System→Library→Image Capture→Devices folder. Control-click on VirtualScanner.app and Show Package Contents, open the Contents→Resources folder inside, then open simpledoc.pdf.
Why Is The Bitcoin Whitepaper Hidden In macOS?
As Baio writes, it is not clear why the BTC whitepaper was chosen from all the documents in the world. “Is there a secret Bitcoin max working at Apple?” or was it even a directive from the very top? “There is practically nothing about it on the Internet,” states the blogger, who only notes:
The filename is “simpledoc.pdf” and it’s only 184 KB. Maybe it was just a convenient, lightweight multi page PDF for testing purposes, never meant to be seen by end users.
Baio received an anonymous tip from an employee who revealed that someone internally reported the problem almost a year ago. Notably, the issue was supposedly reported to the same engineer who put the PDF there in the first place, and that person has done nothing or commented since.
Remarkably, Apple CEO Tim Cook came out as a Bitcoin supporter in November 2021. The CEO of the world’s second most valuable company answered “yes” when asked if he owned Bitcoin or Ethereum. He revealed that he has invested in cryptocurrencies “for a while.”
He also stated that it is reasonable to hold a “diversified portfolio.” However, he dismissed the possibility that Apple will follow other companies like Tesla or MicroStrategy and invest in BTC in the future.
At press time, the Bitcoin price was trading at $28,021.