Apple Included Bitcoin Whitepaper in Every Version of macOS Since 2018

08 Apr 2023

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, MacRmors reports.

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.