Apple removes Bitcoin manifesto from latest macOS beta version

Earlier this month, it was discovered that Apple had included a copy of the Bitcoin technical document in every version of macOS since the release of macOS Mojave in 2018. However, now that is coming to an end. 9to5Mac discovered that in the latest beta version of macOS Ventura (13.4 beta 3), the paper copy hidden at the bottom of the system file has disappeared.

It is unclear why the technical document, written by the purported pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, ended up in the shipping versions of macOS in the first place. The document was in a folder in the Image Capture software, including a tool called VirtualScanner.app, which was also removed from the beta version. Virtual Scanner II may have been an internal tool for testing scanning without any actual hardware.

Why the Bitcoin white paper? It may have been a test document that was never intended to be seen by the public. It will never be known for sure whether it was a joke among developers or simply an easy-to-use file.

If you haven't updated yet, you can still find the document with the following command in Terminal:

open /System/Library/Image Capture/Devices/VirtualScanner.app/Contents/Resources/simpledoc.pdf

Presumably, the document and affiliated application will be removed from the final version of macOS Ventura 13.4.

Whether it was a joke or a test vestige, it makes sense for Apple to remove the document from macOS. After technologist Andy Baio wrote about the document in his blog, the press covered it extensively (including The Tom's team). At this time, Apple has no cryptocurrency business (aside from wallet and exchange apps allowed in its App Store), and the PDF emboldened conspiracy theorists who claimed that Nakamato was actually Apple co-founder and longtime CEO, Steve Jobs.

In November 2021, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that while he personally owns cryptocurrency "as part of a diversified portfolio," the company has no intention of buying it.

Most Mac owners won't notice the change, but it was a fun joke while it lasted.

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