Why the Bitcoin Whitepaper Is On macOS — and How You Can Find It

Apr 11, 2023, 12:03PM
2 min, 12 sec READ

You can find a copy of the Bitcoin whitepaper in most versions of macOS released between 2018 and 2023.

Recent versions of Apple’s macOS include a hidden copy of the Bitcoin whitepaper, according to a recent discovery by a tech blogger.

Blogger Discovers BTC Whitepaper

The Bitcoin whitepaper is a document that describes the technical details of the Bitcoin blockchain. It was first published in 2008, shortly before Bitcoin itself went live.

On April 5, tech blogger Andy Baio wrote that he had discovered the whitepaper in macOS system files related to the Image Capture utility, which is used to transfer images between devices. The file is also related to a device titled Virtual Scanner II.

On macOS Mojave (v. 10.14.0) and up, the file is located at this path:


Baio speculated that developers needed a file that was small and freely available to test their application and chose the Bitcoin whitepaper for those reasons. The Virtual Scanner II files include an unrelated photo as well, seemingly for testing reasons.

It is also possible that the individual developers responsible for the program inserted the file deliberately, either as an endorsement of Bitcoin, an "easter egg," or a joke.

After Baio published his original post, he added a statement that appeared to come from an Apple insider. That insider said that an issue related to the Bitcoin whitepaper was filed a year ago and said the whitepaper will likely be removed in the future.

Apple Isn’t Crypto-Friendly

The fact that the whitepaper exists on macOS does not show that Apple has any interest in crypto. In fact, Apple has historically taken a strict stance toward crypto, and CEO Tim Cook has stated that the company won’t launch its own cryptocurrency.

Apple also extended app store restrictions in 2022 so that certain crypto-related activities must take place in-app and on approved exchanges. These rules allow the company to collect 30% of NFT transactions by requiring the use of its own payment system. Apple previously imposed restrictions on crypto mining apps in 2018.

Despite Apple's apparent resistance toward cryptocurrency, some have speculated that late Apple leader Steve Jobs could be the creator of Bitcoin, whose identity is unknown apart from the fact that he used the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

Though some have noted that Nakamoto disappeared around the time of Jobs' death, there is little other evidence for the theory. In fact, the Bitcoin whitepaper on macOS is not evidence, as it was not added to the OS until 2018 — years after Jobs’ death.

Disclaimer: information contained herein is provided without considering your personal circumstances, therefore should not be construed as financial advice, investment recommendation or an offer of, or solicitation for, any transactions in cryptocurrencies.