Apple Has Included Bitcoin Whitepaper in Every Version of macOS Since 2018

In every copy of macOS that has shipped since 2018, Apple has included the original Bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto, and no-one seems to know why.

apple bitcoin hack
The baffling discovery (or rediscovery - see below) was recently made by developer and writer Andy Baio, who stumbled upon the PDF document while trying to fix a problem with his printer.

Anyone with a Mac running macOS Mojave or later can see the PDF for themselves by typing the following command into Terminal:

open /System/Library/Image\ Capture/Devices/

If you're running macOS 10.14 or later, the 184 KB Bitcoin PDF should immediately open in Preview.

The document can also be located via Finder: Navigate to Macintosh HD -> System -> Library -> Image Capture -> Devices, then open the Contents -> Resources folder. The whitepaper titled "simpledoc.pdf" should be in there.

Baio found that in the macOS Image Capture utility, the Bitcoin whitepaper is used as a sample document for a device called "Virtual Scanner II," which may or may not power Apple's Import from iPhone feature, and is either hidden or not installed for everyone by default.

Baio later discovered that he wasn't the first person to find the Bitcoin document or "Virtual Scanner II." An Apple Community post from 2021 queries its existence in macOS, in addition to a photo taken of a sign at San Francisco Bay's Treasure Island, after designer Joshua Dickens unearthed them in 2020.

bitcoin whitepaper macos
It's not known why Apple would choose as a sample document Nakamoto's Bitcoin whitepaper. There has been widespread speculation about the identity of the presumed pseudonymous Bitcoin developer, which is only likely to add to the intrigue. What "Virtual Scanner II" refers to also remains unclear.

According to a source who spoke to Baio, someone filed the Bitcoin paper with Apple as an issue nearly a year ago, and assigned it to the same engineer who put the PDF there in the first place, but that person hasn't taken action or commented on the issue since.

The mystery continues.

Tag: Bitcoin

Top Rated Comments

CChrisG Avatar
9 months ago
This was left by a developer for fun, I wouldn't read too much into it.
Score: 52 Votes (Like | Disagree)
breather Avatar
9 months ago
I´m so very tired of Crypto

Looks like we found some crypto "investors"... ;)
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DFZD Avatar
9 months ago
I read it as Bitcoin Wallpaper and thought wow that would be very cool.. an Apple Bitcoin Wallpaper..

So I searched on google and found this and everything makes sense now.

Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
japanime Avatar
9 months ago
Is the bottom of the PDF signed, "All your bitcoin are belong to us"?
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nicole1980 Avatar
9 months ago
Cue the conspiracy theories. Whenever ANYTHING happens these days it turns into a ******** of asinine people online claiming to know the REAL reason some random thing actually happened.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
entropys Avatar
9 months ago

Developer should be fired for leaving this easter egg.
Or, we could buy him or her a beer.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.2 Will Add These 12 New Features to Your iPhone

Friday December 1, 2023 12:19 pm PST by
iOS 17.2 has been in beta testing for over a month, and it should be released to all users in a few more weeks. The software update includes many new features and changes for iPhones, including the dozen that we have highlighted below. iOS 17.2 is expected to be released to the public in mid-December. To learn about even more features coming in the update, check out our full list. Journal ...
anker new xmas 1

Anker's Cyber Week Sale Enters Final Days With Up to 60% Off Sitewide

Friday December 1, 2023 12:05 pm PST by
Anker's Black Friday/Cyber Week event is entering its final days this weekend, and it's still offering up to 60 percent off sitewide. There are also a few "mystery boxes" that can include hundreds of dollars in savings, if you're willing to risk not knowing what you're buying ahead of time. All of these sales will end on December 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Anker. When you...
top stories 2dec2023

Top Stories: iOS 17.1.2 Released, NameDrop Misinformation, and More

Saturday December 2, 2023 6:00 am PST by
Apple employees are back to work following a Thanksgiving break, and that means this week saw a number of new operating system updates for both public release and beta testing. This week also saw some misinformation about Apple's new NameDrop feature making the rounds, while Apple and Goldman Sachs appear to be on the verge of a break-up in their Apple Card and savings account partnership,...
General Apps Messages

Green Bubbles on iPhone to Gain These 7 New Features Next Year

Thursday November 30, 2023 9:00 am PST by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that it will finally support RCS in the Messages app on the iPhone starting later next year. This change will result in several improvements to the messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices. RCS will become the new default standard for messaging between iPhones and Android devices, but these conversations will still have green bubbles like...
m2 macbook air green

Get Apple's M2 MacBook Air and M3 MacBook Pro for Record Low Prices

Friday December 1, 2023 6:59 am PST by
Best Buy is discounting a collection of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models to all-time low prices today. We're tracking these deals below in addition to great discounts on the Apple Pencil 2 and Apple Watch Ultra 1. MacBook Air Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the...
iPhone 16 Mock Header Updated 1

iPhone 16 to Include Action Button Across Entire Lineup

Thursday November 30, 2023 4:08 pm PST by
The release of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max saw the introduction of an entirely new user-configurable button known as the Action button, and now, MacRumors has seen extensive evidence confirming Apple is planning to include the Action button on the entire iPhone 16 range. Designs and plans for the Action button date back to at least 2021, as the button was intended for release alongside hapt...