Bitcoin white paper is hidden away in macOS’s system folder for some reason

Apple/Andrew Cunningham

If you’re using a Mac and want a refresher on the basics of Bitcoin, good news—blogger Andy Baio has discovered that “every modern copy of macOS” has included a copy of Satoshi Nakomoto’s original Bitcoin white paper, hidden away in macOS system folders and accessible with an easy Terminal command.

Here’s the command you can use to open it on your own Mac:

open /System/Library/Image\ Capture/Devices/

We’ve confirmed that the document exists on a fully updated Mac running Ventura 13.3, and Baio says the 184KB PDF file appears to date all the way back to 2018’s Mojave (it’s not present in 2017’s High Sierra).

The file is included in a system app called This is almost certainly related to the “import from iPhone” Continuity Camera feature that lets you insert pictures or documents “scanned” with your iPhone or iPad’s camera directly into a macOS app. That feature was originally introduced in Mojave, the same macOS version that added the Bitcoin white paper.

Baio says that “a little bird” told him that the presence of the Bitcoin white paper was filed as an issue internally at Apple “nearly a year ago,” and that it was assigned to “the same engineer who put the PDF there in the first place.” It has apparently gone unremarked upon since then, and the white paper is still there.

The Bitcoin white paper isn’t the only secret document that has been included in macOS. For years, the Pages app included a small “apple.txt” file with the full text of the speech from Apple’s old “here’s to the crazy ones” ad, plus former CEO Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford commencement speech. The document no longer appears to be included in the current version of Pages.

We’ve contacted Apple to see if the company has anything to add. Absent a response, the easiest explanation is that the bizarre but ultimately harmless inclusion of the white paper is an Easter egg tucked away by some cryptocurrency enthusiast at Apple, and we’d expect it to vanish in a future update now that it has been noticed.

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