The Bitcoin Whitepaper Is Hidden in MacOS

Andy Baio:

While trying to fix my printer today, I discovered that a PDF copy of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper apparently ships with every copy of macOS, since at least the release of macOS Catalina (version 10.15) in 2019. I’ve asked over a dozen Mac-using friends to confirm, and it was there for every one of them.


One other oddity: there’s a file called cover.jpg in the Resources folder used for testing the Photo media type, a 2,634×3,916 JPEG of a sign taken on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. There’s no EXIF metadata in the photo, but photographer Thomas Hawk identified it as the location of a nearly identical photo he shot in 2008.

I can see the use of the Bitcoin whitepaper as a sort of universal PDF unencumbered by intellectual property concerns. The photograph is more interesting to me, if only because it is a 3.7 megabyte image with seemingly no user-facing rationale.

Update: Baio:

A little bird tells me that someone internally filed it as an issue nearly a year ago, assigned to the same engineer who put the PDF there in the first place, and that person hasn’t taken action or commented on the issue since. […]

Nice to see internal bug reports get the same kind of attention as external ones.