In an April 5 blog post, technologist Andy Baio said he accidentally stumbled upon a copy of Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoin white paper on his Mac computer, with the revelation fueling wild theories across the internet that the mysterious creator of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency was Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
“While trying to fix my printer today, I discovered that a PDF copy of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper apparently shipped with every copy of macOS since Mojave in 2018,” Baio wrote.
His post prompted Twitter users to share screenshots of the same manifesto stored on their Macs. Insider also tested out Baio’s instructions and found the white paper on the latest version of macOS.
The white paper, titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” was published in 2008. In it, the author lays out the framework for the underlying mechanisms that power bitcoin and enable transactions without a third party intermediary like a bank or financial institution.
Baio’s revelation fueled fresh speculation that Nakamoto, the mysterious bitcoin inventor who has never been identified, may have been Steve Jobs, the late co-founder of Apple and tech visionary.
“Was Steve Jobs actually Satoshi Nakamoto the creator of #bitcoin?” tweeted Lark Davis, a bitcoin investor and blogger with 1.1 million followers. “Plus Satoshi disappear in December 2010, and then Jobs passed in October 2011. The timelines fit…”
While Nakamoto vanished from the internet around the same time Jobs died, the white paper appeared on Mac computers seven years after the tech icon’s death, making it impossible for him to be the one who inserted the document into the OS.
Other users chimed in across Twitter, with some agreeing while others remained skeptical.
While unusual, the presence of the bitcoin white paper on Mac computers isn’t evidence of anything.
As for Jobs himself, while he is credited as the creative force behind many of Apple’s most iconic products, he wasn’t an expert programmer, according to co-founder, Steve Wozniak.
Others have also noted that for Jobs to develop the iPhone around the same time as the world’s most popular digital asset is more reason to be skeptical.
The real identity of Nakamoto has never been revealed, and some believe Nakamoto was actually a group of people given the complexity of bitcoin’s code. The inventor stated they started writing the code for bitcoin in 2007, and the network launched in 2009.
The mysterious figure “disappeared” from online appearances on December 12, 2010.
Some estimate that crypto wallets associated with the pseudonym hold more than 1.1 million bitcoin tokens. When the token peaked in November 2021 at about $68,000, those holdings would have been worth roughly $73 billion, putting Nakamoto among the top-15 richest people in the world at the time.
Meanwhile, other Twitter users floated the idea that the white paper was simply a bitcoin enthusiast working at Apple who slipped the document in as an easter egg.
To locate the white paper, users can open the macOS terminal and enter the following command:
open /System/Library/Image\ Capture/Devices/VirtualScanner.app/Contents/Resources/simpledoc.pdf
On Friday, bitcoin hovered around $27,896. The token has rallied roughly 68% in 2023.