TL;DR I believe Zcash should try its best to get on to an AMM DEX ASAP in order to stay competitive and avoid the future impact of potential delistings. The Maya Protocol is a code fork of THORChain meaning existing work for THORChain could easily be repurposed, and the team has been very open to adding Zcash.
Disclosure: I work full-time for Dash currently and have a working relationship with Maya, however I have worked for Zcash in the past (through a minor grant and work with ZecHub) and remain an advocate for Zcash and for its future success.
Zcash, whose primary use case is top-level financial privacy, desperately needs integration into the decentralized exchange world. Having used a wide variety of these, I believe cross-chain automated market maker (AMM) DEX protocols provide the very best possible user experience, resembling an old-school ShapeShift except on decentralized rails (ShapeShift now does this, by the way).
Since 2021 I have been actively pushing for my favorite cryptocurrencies, including Zcash, to be included on THORChain, which is arguably the #1 cross-chain DEX in the world right now. Sadly, they don’t seem to be interested in adding many new chains right now, especially Zcash. However, the Maya Protocol, the first fork of THORChain ("THORChildren, let’s call them), is open to adding new projects, and has explicitly expressed interest in Zcash in the past.
Maya shares several assets with THORChain, and is increasingly supported by the very same front-ends (including the open-source Asgardex), meaning that most THORChain users would be able to access Zcash relatively easily if this were to happen. In the future, a single transaction will be able to enable a trade using both protocols (i.e. BCH → RUNE, RUNE → ZEC), essentially making the experience virtually identical to THORChain supporting ZEC natively.
As we’ve seen with the Binance situation, centralized exchange listings are increasingly challenging to maintain. The future is decentralized,and privacy-preserving assets have it in their best interest to remain accessible across decentralized trading platforms. Monero has recognized this, and is targeting inclusion into a to-be-released “THORChild”, Serai DEX. Zcash would do well to get into this greater ecosystem to maintain a competitive advantage.
Let’s not forget that a Maya inclusion would add utility to Zcash beyond simple trading access: yield and interoperability. Liquidity providers earn a portion of trading fees on the platform, and the Savers function allows earners to only be exposed to one asset, meaning that “zodlers” could earn yield on their ZEC even before (and in addition to) proof-of-stake. This can help combat frustration with recent price action.
Additionally, with this integration, any wallet could build in native swaps to any other Maya-supported asset. A Zcash wallet with this function could essentially ZEC to be used to pay for a wide variety of goods and services that do not currently accept it, but do accept BTC, Dash, etc., by simply scanning a QR code from within the wallet. I live 100% off of crypto since 2015 (closed my bank the following year), and during 2023 I received a portion of my income in Zcash. Unfortunately, it was quite difficult spending my ZEC on real expenses other than a few contractors, as it is accepted at relatively few services and merchants I rely on. With Maya and an in-wallet integration, I’m confident I could teach many to only hold 100% shielded ZEC and still use it to pay for all the goods, services, and expenses needed to live.
I’m happy to answer any questions on this and make any connections necessary to move this forward, if the community sees its value.