Bitcoin’s whitepaper is apparently hiding in Apple’s modern macOS

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Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper laying out the Bitcoin (BTC) network is seemingly hiding within every modern version of the operating system for Apple’s Mac computers.

An April 5 blog post from technologist Andy Baio revealed that a PDF of the Bitcoin whitepaper has “apparently shipped with every copy of macOS since Mojave in 2018.”

Baio told Cointelegraph that he was “just trying to fix my printer” and scan a document with a wireless scanner when a device called “Virtual Scanner II” appeared that he’d “never seen before.”

By default, Virtual Scanner II showed a photo, but when Baio changed the media type from Photo to Document, Nakamoto’s whitepaper appeared.

Bitcoin’s whitepaper is apparently hiding in Apple’s modern macOS0 A screenshot of the Bitcoin whitepaper appearing within the “Virtual Scanner II” device. Source: Waxy

“I wasn’t looking for the Bitcoin paper!” Baio exclaimed. “I was just trying to fix my printer!”

In his post, Baio said there is “virtually nothing about this online,” and shared a November 2020 Twitter thread from designer Joshua Dickens which he used to find the file location.

Here’s a mystery: why do I have an Image Capture device called Virtual Scanner II on my Mac? It shows a preview of a painted sign that for some reason closely resembles a photo by @thomashawk on ‘clustershot’? But not exactly — the scanned version looks more weathered.

— Josh D (@schwa23) November 28, 2020

Baio created a prompt to use in Terminal, a command line interface for macOS, so others could bring up the whitepaper easily.

“I started asking other Mac-using friends if they could confirm it, and all of them could,” he said.

The prompt successfully opened the Bitcoin whitepaper on three different Apple Mac devices tested by Cointelegraph.

In his blog post, Baio claimed the file is found on “every version of macOS from Mojave (10.14.0) to the current version (Ventura), but isn’t in High Sierra (10.13) or earlier.”

It’s unknown why Nakamoto’s whitepaper is shipped with modern versions of macOS. Baio speculated in his post that it was “just a convenient, lightweight multipage PDF for testing purposes, never meant to be seen by end users.”


Updated: 04/05/2023 — 23:00

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