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Many MacBook owners take comfort in the fact that Apple products come with some pretty robust security protections in to prevent unwanted files from making their way onto their laptop, but there’s one hidden document about bitcoin lurking in the computer’s folders that not even Apple is telling you about.
It turns out that hiding in the system files of MacBooks is a blueprint or research paper on the creation of the cryptocurrency, penned by its pseudonymous and rumoured founder Satoshi Nakamoto.
Titled ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’, the paper’s abstract notes a “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution”.
It continues: “Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network."
Ironically, for a nine-page paper containing such a complex idea the file on your MacBook is in fact titled ‘simpledoc’.
How to find the hidden bitcoin paper?
First of all, go to Finder – that’s the app with a blue and white smiley face icon.
Once there, find a way to get to the view of Macintosh HD. One way of doing this is going to ‘Go’ in the navigation bar at the top of the screen and selecting ‘Computer’.
After that, you’ll want to click System, then Library, then Image Capture, then finally, Devices.
Once there, you’ll see a VirtualScanner file. Don’t click it (it did nothing for us), but instead right-click to open up the options view. There, you’ll want to click ‘show package contents’.
Then click on the Contents folder, then Resources, and there you are.
As well as housing the bitcoin paper, this folder also contains more unusual files, including blank image files titled ‘bed2’, ‘edge2’ and ‘top2’, as well as a picture of a wooden blue door with the number six on it, and a sign warning of an alarm system being in place.
There’s also another image file, titled ‘grid’, which contains an 8x6 grid of the numbers 1 to 48, if you’re looking for a fun way to waste your time, or play an incomplete game of Snakes and Ladders.
Similarly, there’s a four-page PDF document in which every page contains a large number denoting the page number. It’s very weird.
This bizarre easter egg – if you can call it that – was shared by tech blogger Andy Baio on Wednesday, and before that, only a handful of other people have spotted it.
\u201cHere's a mystery: why do I have an Image Capture device called Virtual Scanner II on my Mac? It shows a preview of a painted sign that for some reason closely resembles a photo by @thomashawk on 'clustershot'? But not exactly -- the scanned version looks more weathered.\u201d
As for why it’s even there in the first place, Baio writes in a blog post: 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.”
Well, now you know. You’re welcome.
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