Recently the presence of Bitcoin whitepaper in VirtualScanner.app was re-discovered by blogger Andy Baio and published on his blog. Back in 2020, a designer named Joshua Dicken already found it as well as a photo of San Francisco Bay:
This fact was also mentioned in Apple Support Community in 2021, but no official response was given. We’ll see if the company will pay attention to the issue after this wave of discussions and will delete the file from the next MacOS version which is expected to be released this May.
The purpose of the VirtualScanner app is unclear, but it might have been used for some tests. In the Image Capture utility, the whitepaper is used as a sample document for a device called “Virtual Scanner II” which is either hidden or not installed for everyone by default (I personally have two MacBooks and can see this device only on one of them).
There is unchecked information in Andy Baio’s blog that someone internally filed it as an issue nearly a year ago, and assigned to the same engineer who put the PDF there, and that person hasn’t taken action or commented on the issue.
Coinbase suggested that it may have been an internal act of defiance by a coder working at Apple against an unsuccessful copyright claim of Craig Wright regarding the Bitcoin white paper.
How did you like this cute little blockchain Easter egg? Share your thoughts below and we will continue to Observe.