Robert Steinadler, a month ago

Outrage: Apple removes Bitcoin whitepaper

When the news broke that the Bitcoin whitepaper was hidden in Apple's macOS, the whole crypto community got excited and started speculating. Did Steve Jobs invent Bitcoin? Who hid the whitepaper and was he or she trying to send a secret message in doing so? Some stories pitched by the media after the news broke were outright hilarious. But it looks like the days of entertainment and hidden Bitcoin education are done.

Why was the Bitcoin whitepaper hidden on Apple’s devices, and why has the company decided to remove it?

Another easter egg

Apple has a history of placing easter eggs on its computers. About three weeks ago, a digital copy of the Bitcoin whitepaper was discovered. The PDF was placed five years ago and has been part of macOS since 2018, undiscovered by millions of users.

The Bitcoin whitepaper became part of an app called Virtual Scanner II and was only visible when users took specific actions. The app is a test scanner and when the whitepaper was discovered it was a complete mystery why it had been placed on Apple’s operating system. One of the less speculative explanations is that it was simply used as a test file because of its small size.

Of course, this still doesn’t explain why the Bitcoin whitepaper has been picked specifically. There are many files available that are small or even smaller than this one. Perhaps the developer was looking into Bitcoin at that time or is a Bitcoin maximalist who left this easter egg on purpose.

Apple removed the app in the latest beta

The whitepaper and the app were removed by Apple in the latest macOS Ventura 13.4 beta 3. This has been confirmed according to several reports which are based on an article from 9to5Mac. Apple might have removed the app along with the whitepaper since it wasn’t meant to be found in the first place and both aren’t needed any longer. Another possibility is that the company didn’t like the media buzz that was created around this story.

If you are a Mac user and like to take a look at the whitepaper for yourself, then you need to type this into the terminal:

open /System/Library/Image\

Once a user upgrades to the latest beta version 13.4, the app and the whitepaper will be gone for good. Since the whitepaper is publicly available in several languages, there is no loss.

Featured image: © TungCheung /

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