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Bitcoin's whitepaper has been discovered within Apple's macOS, and is accessible to anyone using the platform.
Technologist Andy Baio made the revelation on 5 April 2023 via a blog post. Not only is Satoshi Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin white paper found in the latest macOS update, but according to Baio, the PDF has been secretly "shipped with every copy of macOS since Mojave in 2018.”
Baio claims he made the discovery whilst trying to fix his printer and wirelessly scan a document, stumbling upon a device called "Virtual Scanner II."
Virtual Scanner II showed a photo by default but when Baio changed the media type from "Photo" to "Document," Nakamoto’s white paper appeared.
"I’ve asked over a dozen Mac-using friends to confirm, and it was there for every one of them. The file is found in every version of macOS from Mojave (10.14.0) to the current version, Ventura (13.3), but isn’t in High Sierra (10.13) or earlier," Baio states in his blog.
Anyone wishing to try it for themselves can do so by opening Terminal on macOS and pasting in the following command:
open /System/Library/Image\ Capture/Devices/VirtualScanner.app/Contents/Resources/simpledoc.pdf
Baio himself is uncertain why Apple would hide the Bitcoin whitepaper in its operating system, pondering, "Is there a secret Bitcoin maxi working at Apple?"
He also suggests that "maybe it was just a convenient, lightweight multipage PDF for testing purposes, never meant to be seen by end users," but adds "there's virtually nothing about this online."
Apple's crypto relationship
Despite being a tech titan at the forefront of digital innovation, Apple has remained relatively quiet on crypto.
In a recent interview, former App Store director Phillip Shoemaker said “Apple had a problem with crypto from day one. They thought it was a Ponzi scheme.” Shoemaker originally crafted the App Store’s guidelines together with the late Steve Jobs.
Nonetheless, Apple hasn't closed the door completely on crypto. In October, Apple said crypto exchanges can facilitate “transactions or transmissions of cryptocurrency on an approved exchange” but only in countries where the exchange has licensing and permission to operate.
“Apps may not use their own mechanisms to unlock content or functionality,” such as cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrency wallets, it added.
One month later, Apple announced that Apple Pay would now support Circle's USDC, allowing users to make payments with the stablecoin. Payments can be made via apps on Apple devices.
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Apple did, however, have beef with Coinbase. In December, Coinbase announced that Apple had blocked users from sending NFTs through the Coinbase Wallet app.
“You might have noticed you can’t send NFTs on Coinbase Wallet iOS anymore. This is because Apple blocked our last app release until we disabled the feature,” Coinbase tweeted.
The exchange explained that Apple claimed gas fees were subject to the App Store’s 30% in-app purchase fee.
“Apple’s claim is that the gas fees required to send NFTs need to be paid through their In-App Purchase system, so that they can collect 30% of the gas fee,” Coinbase stated.
Coinbase argued that it is “clearly not possible” as Apple’s “In-App Purchase system does not support crypto so we couldn’t comply even if we tried.”
Looking ahead, Apple is reportedly planning to open up its notoriously walled garden iOS ecosystem, which could benefit creator based NFT apps and crypto payments.
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