Hammers Like Nails: The merge mania is building, and many are counting DeFi’s last days on proof-of-work (PoW). Once Ethereum transitions to proof-of-stake (PoS), another $63.85B of total locked value (TVL) in smart contracts and protocols will rely on PoS for security. But don’t count out PoW-backed DeFi just yet. Two dark horses – Ethereum Classic and RSK remain contenders for keeping at least some amount of DeFi reliant upon the mining community. Antpool, an Ethereum miner, recently announced it would make $10M available to attract development on Ethereum Classic, a somewhat disregarded fork of Ethereum which will not migrate to PoS. Furthering the incentive, their affiliated mining hardware maker, Bitmain, announced its plans to accept ETC as payment. Surprisingly, Bitcoin could also be an unlikely refuge for PoW-secured DeFi. RSK is a merged-mined Bitcoin sidechain, leveraging the existing network of Bitcoin miners. Smart contracts on RSK are EVM compatible and, through “Money-On-Chain”, RSK provides a bitcoin-collateralized stablecoin. Want to trade PoW-backed perpetual futures on a decentralized platform with an AMM? RSK now offers that through Sovryn, having launched perpetuals trading on mainnet this month. And despite slower TVL growth on RSK since October, the developer community remains engaged with a vote this week to adopt the “Building on Bitcoin” slogan. To cap it off, last year’s underappreciated Taproot upgrade to Bitcoin unlocks a vast potential for scale and privacy. Although far off, the benefits of Taproot could improve RSK functionality or even pave the way for smart contracts directly on the Bitcoin chain itself. Hammers have a way of finding their nails in the end.