Every modern MacOS device has a PDF copy of the Bitcoin whitepaper embedded in it. The discovery by American tech blogger Andy Bio reveals that the famous document is available in every macOS version, from Mojave (10.14.0) to the current version, Ventura (13.3). However, it is unavailable on MacOS devices running High Sierra (10.13) or earlier.
How to Check for the Bitcoin Whitepaper on macOS
There are two ways to check for the Bitcoin whitepaper on your MacOS device.
The first option is using macOS Terminal.
- Navigate to Launchpad and find Terminal with the search bar.
- Next, paste the following commands in the terminal window
open /System/Library/Image\ Capture/Devices/VirtualScanner.app/Contents/Resources/simpledoc.pdf
- Hit the Return key, and the Bitcoin whitepaper automatically opens in preview mode. Recall that you need to run a device from macOS 10.14 to find the option
The second option is for users with less experience using the macOS terminal.
- Go to Finder from your macOS home
- Click on Macintosh HD
- Open the System > Library > Image Capture > Devices folder.
- Control-click on VirtualScanner.app and Show Package Contents.
- Open the Contents > Resources folder, and select the simpledoc.pdf to open the Bitcoin whitepaper in preview mode.
Why is the Bitcoin Whitepaper on macOS devices?
Speculations abound about how the Bitcoin whitepaper ended up in most modern macOS devices. However, according to Andy Bio, one of the most plausible explanations is that an engineer used the document as a test file for a Virtual Scanner II application embedded in Apple devices but not visible to end users. The reason why the app is hidden remains a topic for debate.
Meanwhile, another file called cover.jpg is also found in the Resources folder. The image is a 2,634×3,916 JPEG depicting a sign captured on the Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay. The image tests the Photo media type on the Virtual Scanner, likely for the same purpose as the Bitcoin whitepaper tests Scanner’s ability to display PDF files.
Whatever the case, the presence of the whitepaper on macOS devices provides yet another opportunity for more people to learn about Satoshi’s noble invention. An estimated 100 million active macOS users have the Bitcoin whitepaper, whether or not they know it!
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