In a curious discovery, it has been revealed that the Bitcoin Whitepaper, penned by the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto, has been hidden within every version of macOS from Mojave to Ventura. However, it is not present in the older High Sierra (10.13) or earlier versions. This revelation was made by a user named bernd178 on the MacOS Community Forum in April 2021, who stumbled upon a function called Virtual Scanner II within the Image Capture Utility, which was not enabled by default. Within this function, there was a nondescript image of a bay in San Francisco, and a PDF copy of the Bitcoin Whitepaper.
The inclusion of the Bitcoin Whitepaper within the macOS begs the question of why it was chosen and who decided to include it. The PDF file is a mere 184KB, and it has been speculated that it may have been included for testing purposes, rather than for public consumption. However, there is also the possibility that this was an internal act of defiance by a coder working at Apple, a company too large for Craig Wright, who has been attempting to copyright the whitepaper, to sue.
In February 2023, Wright lost a copyright claim in a UK court regarding the whitepaper. Judge James Mellor noted in his ruling for the High Court of England and Wales that he did not see any prospect of the law as it is currently understood, allowing copyright protection of subject matter that is not expressed or fixed anywhere. According to the judge, no relevant “work” has been identified that contains content that defines the structure of the Bitcoin File Format.
The inclusion of the Bitcoin Whitepaper within macOS will undoubtedly raise some eyebrows, and it remains to be seen why it was chosen and what implications this may have. It is interesting to note that many will be checking to see if it is present in the forthcoming macOS 14, which is expected to launch later this year. It will also be intriguing to observe whether Apple takes note of this discovery and removes it via its regular patches pushed out to macOS users.