Bitcoin white papers are found deep in Apple’s system files on macOS Catalina or later devices. The file, labeled “simpledoc.pdf”, appears to contain Satoshi Nakamoto’s idea for decentralized cash based on a public ledger in all its nine-page glory.
On Nakamoto’s 48th birthday, an independent blogger, Andy Baio, first expressed a subtle tribute to the world’s oldest blockchain on his Waxy blog.
“I’m really trying to fix my printer,” Baio explained to Blockworks. “I tried scanning a document with my wireless printer/scanner, but the device doesn’t show up in Image Capture after I recently upgraded to macOS.” I’ve never seen (or noticed?) this “Virtual Scanner II” piece of equipment before.”
“I Googled “Virtual Scanner II” to learn more, and there were almost no references at all, mostly just old Twitter threads I linked to.” “During the discussion, he stated where the files were in the file system, which I confirmed. I asked some friends if they could see the same thing using a Terminal command I developed, and they could, so I wrote about it!”
Baio has no explanation for why the document appears buried in an obscure folder on macOS, but claims it exists in all modern versions of the operating system. Apple did not immediately react to a request for comment from Blockworks.
If you’re not an Apple expert, he suggests that you “open Finder and click on the Macintosh HD, then open the SystemLibraryImage CaptureDevices folder.” Control-click on VirtualScanner.app and select Show Package Contents, then navigate to the ContentsResources folder and open simpledoc.pdf.”
But wait, there’s more. Baio adds that there are additional steps required to access documents: “In Image Capture, if available, select the “Virtual Scanner II” device, and in Details, set Media to “Document” and Media DPI to “72 DPI.” You should see the first page of the Bitcoin paper.”
Baio claimed that the document had been found by some of his acquaintances, and Blockworks independently confirmed that the document was indeed in the place he indicated.
Apple’s relationship with the crypto and blockchain industry has been rocky, with the tech giant allowing NFTs to be bought and traded via an app on the App Store in the second half of last year.
The change was meant to allow app developers selling in-app NFTs and new apps to put tokens on them, but there were catches.
To capitalize on the excitement (and monetary rewards) that embryonic technology generates, Apple has opted to take a 30% cut from App developers who make over $1 million through its store, and a 15% cut from those who earn less.