Zcash Should Aggressively Pursue Maya Protocol Integration

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.


Love the idea, and think it should be explored! Do you know if Rune/Maya can easily access the IBC world? I think having maps between these adjacent ecosystems might be interesting.


I’m not 100% sure, I do know that both networks are Cosmos-based, but aren’t currently IBC-compatible. However, Cosmos is supported by THORChain right now.


goddamn I would love to see this.
Zec + Dex = the holy grail.

I saw that adi’s grant to integrate to Thorchain was terminated, I hope that this is reversed given that he’s been in India grieving the loss of a relative. Maybe it can be reinstated with an adjustment to focus on Maya instead, as that seems more likely than Thor. (@thedesertlynx: or is the coding essentially the same for integration on either?)

I think it’s insane that Nighthawk was denied funds for maintenance, we need more wallet options in the zcash ecosystem, not fewer.

But agree with your sentiment @thedesertlynx, DEX integration is not only philosophically aligned with what Zcash stands for, but at a very practical level would snowball adoption.


I guess the Maya team would have to chime in on the viability of the code, but as a THORChain code fork, it’s very similar (think Litecoin to Bitcoin).

A future or repurposed grant should probably include a dual-sided commitment to see this through to the end. In the past THORChain has given conflicting messages on integrations, leaving many projects (like Zcash, Dash, Monero, Decred, and surely others) to feel misled. But the Maya team has been very open, honest, and easy to work with (I negotiated adding Dash as their first chain and they’ve been nothing but professional).


Yeah I had high hopes for zec integration to Thorchain, and Chad has always been on Zcash’s side, but seems that Maya is the most likely to actually happen due to Thor community’s cold feet in current regulatory climate


:100: agree. My hope is that in the future folks have choices on DEX’s from multiple ecosystems and maps exists between them.


Why do only you know this? And why are you the one to report it?

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@thedesertlynx - Thanks for the post! ZCG has been in close contact with the @mayaprotocol team (GiMa, H, and Aaluxx) over the past few weeks. We’re currently exploring a couple different options for integrating with Maya. More details about this will be shared in the upcoming weeks. ZCG recognizes the critical need for DEX support for Zcash and is fully committed to prioritizing solutions to address this need.


Hey all!
As @aquietinvestor mentions we have been in contact with ZCG for the past weeks and also met with @joshs last week.
Maya Protocol is a decentralised and permissionless cross-chain liquidity protocol and friendly fork of THORChain. Maya allows users to swap between native assets, such as native BTC, ETH and more.
Website: https://mayaprotocol.com
Docs: https://docs.mayaprotocol.com


Hi @NaomiBrockwell - I’ve heard from several people that Thorchain is reluctant to integrate privacy coins. However, I haven’t been able to verify these claims. Could you point me to tweets, forum discussions, or podcasts related to this topic? Thank you!


Haven’t seen anything official other than whoever is running the Thorchain Twitter is apparently a Monero fan.


I have a few thoughts.

  1. If Zcash wants to get on a DEX immediately, while offering a meaningful UX, Maya would be the best option IMO so long as wallet(s) are ready.

  2. So long as Binance isn’t delisting Zcash, I do not personally support rushing a transparent integrations of Zcash. They’re incomprehensive to ZSAs and may end up moot if the transparent pool is deprecated. I believe future integrations should be shielded. Anyone is welcome to say my personal support is moot as it generally is.

  3. I am unsure on what time table Maya could integrate shielded Zcash as it’s a vastly distinct discussion from forking their BTC integration (as what should’ve been expediently done with THORChain).

Arguable CoI statement, I am working on my own DEX, Serai, which offers an end-user comparable product to THORChain/Maya Protocol.


Is there a way the Zcash integration on Maya could used UAs to future proof it?

If there’s a choice I would support Z/UA over T integration any day of the week.


For a fully shielded integration, they’d like have to add FFI bindings to librustzcash, integrate the entire TX/proof objects (removing all work applicable from the Bitcoin integration), properly manage view keys (which may conflict with the TC architecture due to expectations on observing TXs, I’d need to double check before I comment further), and would need a threshold signature scheme to actually produce signatures. I don’t believe ZF claims their FROST impl is ready for Zcash mainnet yet despite being close.

They could use a UA on their end, support sending to UAs, and within a year of the initial upgrade opaquely update to a shielded pool. That wouldn’t offer immediate ability to support ZSAs and expects a whole new integration be built in the future.


IMO, we should go with Maya Protocol Integration with transparent addresses.
Obviously, it would be better with UA/ZSA/etc. But then it won’t be available anytime soon (+1 year in my estimation)


As the developer of a distinct DEX, I can comment 1y+ is not a universal integration timeline. While I agree, for Maya, it’d likely be multiple/several months of active work, that wouldn’t necessarily hold for all projects.

Also, I think 1y is decently far out there as an estimate, but I’d leave firmer numbers to the ZF (for their FROST implementation) and Maya themselves.

I do maintain my comment if there’s not immediate need due to a Binance delisting, this doesn’t need to be rushed. Solely prioritized.


maybe my question is stupid, i want to understand once and for all.
if we are planning to move to Zebra, why are we pursuing those integrations right now ?
shouldn’t we wait for zebrad?


I don’t see a connection with zcashd or zebrad. Could you elaborate?

Should an exchange be shielded? If so, how would the trade history be determined? How would we know the current price?

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i thought we are going to deprecate zcashd in a year or so,
thought it means we should do the integration from the beginning for zebrad,
and get the integration broken, as we had wallets broken once