The true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin, is one of those modern-day mysteries that might never be definitively solved. But Markets Insider reports that there’s a lot of speculation and rumors making the rounds on social media that he might have been the alter-ego of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
The notion springs from a blog post by tech figure Andy Baio, in which Baio revealed his discovery of a PDF copy of Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin whitepaper on his own Mac:
“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.”
Other Apple users confirmed Baio’s find on their own devices, and from there speculation spread that the Easter egg could be a clue that Jobs actually invented Bitcoin. Of course, Jobs died in 2011, and if the file was hidden in the Mac assembly in 2018, it would have to have been done by someone other than Jobs himself. However, Nakamoto’s own disappearance from the web tracks roughly with Jobs’s death, lending more fuel to the scenario.
Despite his status as a giant in the tech field, Jobs was primarily a designer and marketer more than he was a programmer, which would make him an unlikely suspect to have invented Bitcoin. That’s not to mention the fact that his invention would have had to happen concurrently with his development of the iPhone, which is another aspect of the story that skeptics say is unlikely.
Apple itself doesn’t appear to have issued an explanation for the Easter egg, which may after all just have been intended as an inside joke among programmers at the company. But it’s fun to imagine it as a clue to the true identity of Bitcoin’s designer, and even more fun to imagine the final twist of the mystery’s solution being Steve Jobs himself.