Unveiling Satoshi's Vision: How MacOS Hides the Bitcoin White Paper in Plain Sight (Except for One):
Did you know that every copy of MacOS shipped since 2017 has a hidden treasure in it? Someone has buried the Bitcoin white paper inside the Image Capture Utility, a function called Virtual Scanner II, which is not enabled by default.
Back in April 2021, a user named bernd178 on the MacOS Community Forum stumbled upon this hidden gem. Bernd178 discovered a nondescript image of a bay in San Francisco and a PDF copy of the Bitcoin white paper inside the Virtual Scanner II. “Weirdly, there is also a PDF with the original Bitcoin white paper from Satoshi Nakamoto in the VirtualScanner.app Package Content,” bernd178 wrote.
While some users dismissed this finding as insignificant, others, like blogger Andy Baio, found it fascinating. Baio published a blog post on Waxy, where he noted that you can access the white paper by entering specific commands into the terminal app. "Of all the documents in the world, why was the Bitcoin white paper chosen? Is there a secret Bitcoin maxi working at Apple? Maybe it was just a convenient, lightweight multipage PDF for testing purposes, never meant to be seen by end users," Baio speculated.
However, there's also another angle to this discovery. Craig Wright, who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, has been attempting to copyright the Bitcoin white paper and suing places that host it. This may have been an internal act of defiance by a coder working at Apple, a company too big for Wright to sue.
But is this just a harmless inclusion or a legal issue waiting to happen? In a ruling for the High Court of England and Wales, Judge James Mellor said, "I do not see any prospect of the law as currently stated and understood in the case law allowing copyright protection of subject matter which is not expressed or fixed anywhere. It remains the case that no relevant 'work' has been identified containing content which defines the structure of the Bitcoin File Format." Therefore, it's unlikely that Wright can claim copyright protection for the white paper.
It remains to be seen why this PDF was included in MacOS, and whether it will continue to be included in future versions. It's also unclear if Apple will take note of this discovery and remove it through its regular patches pushed out to MacOS users.
Despite the mystery surrounding this inclusion, it's fascinating to know that every MacOS since 2017 contains a piece of history that most users are unaware of. So, the next time you're using your MacOS, keep in mind that it's hiding something valuable that even some of the most seasoned users may not know about.