The Naming of Things (viz. Statemint)

As mentioned a few times now, e.g. here, I have been thinking that we should rename Statemint/Statemine to something more neutral/technical, like “{Polkadot, Kusama} Asset Hub”. Less fun, more clarity :).

Before any parachains launched at all, I had this vague idea that parachains added via governance would cleanly fall into “pure system” or “utility” chains. I always thought the more pure ones would have more bland names, like “staking parachain”. But Statemint added some new functionality to Polkadot that wasn’t already in the Relay Chain, so we decided to give it a branded name. But there has not been a clear separation; unsurprisingly chains often have a mix of old and new pallets.

It’s clear now that the name “Statemint” has introduced a lot of confusion across the ecosystem (especially with its counterpart, Statemine). Statemint is also playing a lower level role (one that will only grow as balances move there for use in governance and staking).

To reduce confusion and express more neutrality (i.e., that system chains are just components of the Polkadot protocol), system chains should just be named after their technical functionality. They don’t need to have an individual brand. Some people have started using “Asset Hub”, but it’s still early and we could also do something like “Asset Parachain” or something else. Comment here if you agree/disagree or have other suggestions for names.


I think renaming Statemint + Statemine to
is conceptually clean in that keyword “Asset” and matches with BridgeHub (see, no spaces!) I like the fact that the above is maximally boring / descriptive and is about their technical functionality, especially because its supposed to be behind the scenes and is for engineers.

Here is my advice:

  1. People should have a rule to follow like “whenever someone says ____Hub in Dotsama, its a common good chain”, so if you rename Statemine/Statemint to { AssetHub for Polkadot/Kusama/Rococo/… } you should simultaneously address the names of ALL common good chains in the same breath.

  2. Once you make the decision to be boring and descriptive, stick with it and commit to it for at least N years. State what N is.

  3. Use the SAME name for relay chains + testnets, same capitalization/spacing rule – for ALL common good chains. Don’t call one “BridgeHub” and the other “Asset Hub”. Use the same capitalization/spacing rule for DOTSwap and allow marketeer to have the answer in a branding guidelines doc that works for all paraIDs under 2000. Stick to this for BridgeHub and all other common good chains.

  4. Test yourself on (3) by stating your plan for Encointer and other common good chains. I think you should rename Encointer to something descriptive in exactly the same way, ie “IdentityHub” and commit to “BridgeHub for Polkadot”. (I don’t know enough about Encointer to say that “Identity” is a good word, but you do). If you have a criteria for “Hub”-hood, that doesn’t apply to Encointer it would be nice to know what is. Ideally, a ChatGPT bot could predict your next name =) If you have some other plan, state it.

  5. If there is some way for the “Statemine/Statemint” rename to {AssetHub (or ___) for Polkadot/Kusama/Rococo/…} to set a precedent for non-common good parachains, that would be a great thing!

  6. The “DOTSwap”/“KSMSwap” name choice matters more than “AssetHub”. Could there be an exemplary way to address Dan’s “There were only 160 votes” problem for this name choice?

Related 0.02 wishes on the “Naming of Things”:

  • it was NOT helpful for people to have to deal with 2 parachains having 2 different names + token symbols for the Polkadot vs Kusama versions of the same underlying code base just a few runtimes apart. I guess every parachain was following the relay chain example, but after seeing everything unfold, its now clear our brains can’t remember 75 brands unless we eat, drink, clean, touch, drive them every day. So I hope that new chains follow "{AssetHub} on { Polkadot, Kusama, … } going forward also use “{ParachainName} on { Kusama, Rococo, Westend, … }” instead of following Polkadot and Kusama’s example. I suggest people use K + W or R as their symbol prefixes for the same reasons. If you feel some loss, consider that Coke Zero, diet Coke, Coca-cola Light etc. are memorable variations on Coke sharing their own branding – could everyone aim there?

  • If BridgeHub on Kusama and BridgeHub on Polkadot is used to bridge assets following the same “sub protocol”, one on a canary chain and one not, I would like to see “K” be the prefix for the symbol on the Kusama chain, e.g. if XYZ is the symbol for the Polkadot parachain then KXYZ is the symbol for the Kusama parachain.


I really like the proposal to rename those two parachains. I agree with a boring but clear name like Polkadot/Kusama Asset Hub a lot of the confusion of dealing with the chains can be resolved.

For the name change itself, it would be great to have a couple of weeks notice on that one to be able to update frontend, wallets, …. I’d assume on parachain level, no changes are required since the paraIds would stay the same, but please do correct me if I’m wrong.

Wen gov proposal? You’ve got my vote :wink:

1 Like

For sure ParaId would not change. Most of the changes would apply more to front end developers and communications. The other changes would be:

  1. Parachains have some version information in the runtime that includes a spec name. Changing this would affect wallets that might have checks about the name of the chain they are connected to:
pub const VERSION: RuntimeVersion = RuntimeVersion {
	spec_name: create_runtime_str!("statemint"),
	impl_name: create_runtime_str!("statemint"),
	authoring_version: 1,
	spec_version: 9381,
	impl_version: 0,
	transaction_version: 12,
	state_version: 0,
  1. The CLI would probably change to deprecate --statemint and replace it with the new name. So anyone running nodes would have to make a change on some new node release.
  1. Meh, not really. For one, system chains (I really want to collectively forget/abandon this “common good” term) do not have a claim on a word like “Hub”. Anyone else can call their chain a hub. Two, “Hub” might not be the right word for every system chain. For bridges it obviously makes sense, as they are quite literally drawn in the model of a physical hub-and-spoke pattern. For assets, it’s more like “center of activity”. You can of course find assets everywhere in the network, but AssetHub would be a place you can find everything. To clarify the obvious objection to this statement, of course you can find other bridges, but not the same bridges, elsewhere in the network. But you would expect to see the same asset (e.g. USDT, GLMR) in many locations in the network.

    I.e., in the Merriam Webster definition, bridges fit more with definition 1 and assets with 2.

  2. No, this is nonsense. We should of course try to make good decisions, but once a decision reveals itself as bad, I’m not sticking to it for N years because I committed to N, I will try to learn something and correct it.

  3. Sure, for the system chains that I work on.

  4. Why should I have a plan for Encointer? Although I know the team and have tried out the app, I’m not really involved in its development. System chains are chosen by governance, not me, and there is certainly no rule or even precedent that I’m involved in all of them.

  5. Not sure what you mean. That other Polkadot parachains with a canary version adopt some naming pattern? I would think not; technical and communication freedom are core value propositions of Polkadot. For system parachains, i.e. the Polkadot protocol, Kusama serves a specific purpose. But not everyone’s Kusama parachain serves the same purpose.

  6. I don’t really agree, but it’s off topic anyway.

Got it!

I myself am still learning the stories people tell themselves and others about why X is 100% controlled by one person alone and why Y is 0% controlled by that same one person and why Z is 100% controlled by “governance”. The naming of things in particular takes time, but if you’re 100% in control of the change you want to see, just do it, and you can change your mind tomorrow if your decision reveals itself as bad. You can do this because not that many people are using these new things yet, but surely you couldn’t rename Polkadot to J03Hub with that same story, right?

I didn’t know you had no control over Encointer’s name, just like I don’t know who controls polkadot.js either – could it be renamed to “” and is that controlled by one person or “governance”? Who decides that a UI that utilizes the DOTSwap protocol should exist or not exist at in the same way, and how many there should be?

If people were trained on one term in one era (“common good chains”, “Statemint”, “parachains”, “Statemint DEX”, “polkadot.js”) it takes time for those same people to learn the new replacement term you want to create (“System chain”, “AssetHub”, “Polkadot sub-protocols”, “DOTSwap”, “”). The amount of time required to affect that change is a function of how often the old term is used, how much the new term is used. In this “AssetHub” case, the old term wasn’t used that much, so just get on with it. But the broader topic of how the naming of things should be decided is very much a story to be told and for me, this is a good case study.