After it became public knowledge that there was a copy of the Bitcoin (BTC) white paper deep inside the system files on all Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) devices running macOS Catalina or later, the technology giant is now reportedly removing the document in question.
Indeed, the macOS Ventura 13.4 beta 3, which the Apple engineers released to developers on April 25, does not contain the Bitcoin white paper in its internal files, or more specifically, in a folder within the Image Capture application, according to a report by 9to5Mac.
The file’s discovery
As Finbold reported on April 6, an independent blogger Andy Baio discovered the file, named ‘simpledoc.pdf,’ sharing the discovery on his Waxy blog on April 5, and revealing that the document was visible by opening the Terminal and entering the following command:
As this command demonstrates, the assets among which the Bitcoin white paper was found were part of an internal tool called ‘VirtualScanner.app’ that allowed Apple engineers to simulate document scanning and exporting without an actual scanner. Now, the engineers have completely removed the tool from the new beta release.
Apple’s relationship with crypto
Despite the white paper for the flagship cryptocurrency no longer being present, the company has not yet commented on the reason why it was in the macOS system files in the first place. Considering the difficulty with which a non-expert user could access the file, it might’ve been a simple internal joke among Apple’s engineers.
It is also worth noting that Apple has had a complicated history with blockchain and the crypto industry, having allowed trading of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) via apps on the App Store in the second half of 2022, taking a 30% commission from developers earning over $1 million through its store, and 15% from those making less.