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Every Version of MacOS Shipped Since 2018 Includes the Original Bitcoin Whitepaper

Every Version of MacOS Shipped Since 2018 Includes the Original Bitcoin Whitepaper

Easter eggs in the digital realm are nothing out of the ordinary. The buried treasures of the technology world are created by developers to overwhelm, share their passions, and earn recognition. Over the years, people have discovered hilarious and peculiar Easter eggs hidden in software or hardware. If you open Bitcoin’s Genesis block, you’ll discover that Satoshi’s remarkable headline – Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks – is taken from that day’s edition of the London Times about the British government’s failure to stimulate the economy following the financial crisis of 2008. 

As a cryptocurrency that stands the test of time, Bitcoin is attractive to investors who want to diversify their portfolios and people who seek a fairer, more transparent financial system. The Bitcoin price has sparked many discussions, with speculators attempting to extract profit from its movements. In case you didn’t know, Apple’s macOS has a hidden Easter egg. As technologist and blogger Andy Baio discovered, a copy of the Bitcoin whitepaper has been hiding in plain sight on computers running macOS Catalina or later. This doesn’t really come as a surprise, given that Apple UI designers are renowned for randomly hiding Easter eggs inside the Apple software. 

The Bitcoin Whitepaper Is Hidden in Your Apple Computer’s Files 

The original Bitcoin whitepaper has been discovered inside Apple’s system files for computers running macOS 10.15 or later. It seems that a harmless file, called simpledoc.pdf, contains a copy of the foundational text of Bitcoin, written by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. It’s just 184 KB. Perhaps it was used for test purposes, meaning the file wasn’t supposed to be seen by end users. Anyway, the file isn’t easy to find unless you know where to look for it. If you want to see the PDF for yourself, open the Terminal app and type: “open /System/Library/Image\ Capture/Devices/VirtualScanner.app/Contents/Resources/simpledoc.pdf”. 

The Bitcoin whitepaper is used as a sample document for the Virtual Scanner II app, which is hidden for some users or not installed by default. While attempting to fix his printer, Andy Baio uncovered the puzzling Easter egg and asked other friends if the file could also be found on their computers; surprisingly, they all confirmed. The question now is: Why is the file there, and what does it represent? Well, you’ll be disappointed to hear that it has no special meaning. Chances are that someone put it there by mistake and hasn’t taken action on the issue since then. 

What To Know About Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin Whitepaper 

The Bitcoin whitepaper, entitled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, is the original thesis, written under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The identity of the Bitcoin creator remains a mystery, meaning that no one knows who he, she, or they might be. The idea behind Bitcoin was that users could make transactions with low costs without intermediaries (i.e., financial institutions) over a peer-to-peer network. The whitepaper proposed a system based on cryptographic proof, which lays the foundation for what we know as blockchain technology. Many cryptocurrencies followed Bitcoin, publishing their own whitepapers to help people learn more about the projects. 

Apple Is Aware of The Fact That Crypto Is Happening 

Undoubtedly, one of the most illustrious mentions of cryptocurrency from Apple was in September 2019 when Jennifer Bailey, who serves as vice president of Internet Services, declared that the multinational technology company was watching cryptocurrency. In February 2020, Apple hired Jeff Bronikowski, who was working on creating digital assets using Flow, a decentralized blockchain that enables the development of dApps and NFTs. Apple doesn’t currently accept Bitcoin, but the tech giant is planning to launch a “tap to pay” feature for iPhones in 2023. Until then, you can shop directly at Apple retailers that accept cryptocurrency payments, but you’ll need to set up a digital wallet first. 

NFTs are allowed to exist in the App Store, yet they can’t unlock additional features or content. More precisely, Apple has strengthened its rules on NFTs. In-app purchases can be used to sell NFTs and related services, such as minting, listing, and transferring tokens. What’s more, those interested can browse NFT collections as long as they don’t include buttons, external links, or other CTAs to encourage purchases. Interestingly, Appel’s enforcement of the rules led to a block of Coinbase’s self-custody wallet as they tried to collect 30% of the gas fees. There were claims that Apple wanted to disable NFT transactions that weren’t realized via its in-app purchase system. 

Interesting Easter Eggs in Your Mac You Didn’t Know About 

As mentioned earlier, this isn’t the first time that Apple has included Easter eggs in its products. The hidden functionalities in your Apple computer will be revealed if you dig deeper into the system; of course, if you’re not in the mood to do the digging yourself, you can always trust us. If you’re a fan of playing snake games, you’ll be happy to hear that your Mac is pre-loaded with such games. Instead of moving the snake in a window, the snake moves across the screen, all by itself, or from screen to screen. To launch the game, open the Terminal app, type “emacs”, and press Enter. 

If you’re curious to find out the dates that have influenced humanity the most, open the Terminal app, type “cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.history”, and press Enter. Your Apple computer has a built-in calendar history of events, so it’s not necessary to remember all the important dates in history. Maybe you’re in the mood for chocolate chip cookies. In that case, uncover the hidden recipe on your Mac. You see, your computer has Internet cookies and real cookies –a Mrs. Field’s cookies recipe. Open the Terminal app, type “open /usr/share/emacs/22.1/etc/COOKIES”, and press Return. The recipe will immediately pop up in the window. 

Wrapping It Up 

Apple has a hidden Bitcoin manifesto hidden in its macOS system folder. Andy Baio confirmed the presence of the file on every Apple computer since 2018. It goes without saying that the inclusion of the Bitcoin whitepaper raises some questions concerning Apple’s motivation. It would be best not to try to find meaning in it and enjoy your Apple product. Not everything has to have a purpose.  

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