Hybrid system chains make Polkadot permissionless

I am thinking in a similar direction as @Cyrill lately. The two opposing ways of thinking seem to be:

Hybrid Chain

Add contracts to existing chains to augment them with user programmability. Adding it to Asset Hub would be what comes to mind first as it will allow users to synchronously interact in their contracts with the assets there. I think this is something that would be of immediate use for many people I think.

The counter arguments are usually security and performance concerns as brought up by @alejandro. As well as that it contradicts the “one chain one task” idea of Polkadot. Which is, to be fair, mostly a performance concern because having more chains is the easiest way to scale as of right now.

Contracts Chain

Have a dedicated chain which doesn’t have any specific purpose except hosting contracts. Having all contracts in one place is beneficial because they can interact with each other synchronously. Having them in a separate chain also reduces the risk for an integral part as AssetHub to get congested or attacked by the broadened attack surface. However, I don’t see the performance benefits since having all contracts on a single chain will suffer the same performance benefits as putting it directly on AssetHub. Additionally, AssetHub could just confine contract execution time to a fixed part of its block.

What I think we should do

To me it is really not an either or. Short term allowing contracts on AssetHub is the most useful solution. Centralizing assets and contracts will no doubt provide the most value and lowest switching costs for Ethereum builders. It is most likely that this is the move that will give us the most traction in the short time. We should not be afraid of success (“AssetHub gets congested”). It if gets congested people can migrate their contracts to dedicated contracts chain in order to reduce costs. Which will be easy because they are running the same environment and assets can easily be transferred over via XCM. People will do that in order to save costs. Like they do switch to Ethereum L2’s.

But only if there is already a worth while ecosystem anyone would even care. We can’t expect them to go to a third party chain first. That is completely backwards. We have to put our horses behind a first party solution first (system chain) so that anybody even cares enough to look for third party scaling solutions. I firmly believe that the best candidate for a first party solution is a system chain. And more specifically AssetHub. We should not fragment the ecosystem more than we have to.