I can see a trend coming where miners will likely hold the network "hostage" by mining blocks with no transactions in them... even when the block reward nears zero. This would leave transactions in the perpetual pending state.
The reason I suspect this will happen is so that miners will need to cover the expense of hardware that will never be recuperated otherwise.
This scenario can also happen if the value of BTC drops to a very low value.
I'd like to understand the variables that would cause a miner, a mining pool, or anything that would cause them to demand a transaction fee in order to accept the transaction.
- What ratios, statistics, or variables are useful in tracking what the miners will demand the transaction fee to be?
Some ideas would likely include
Quantity of transactions -vs- fee paid (the higher the fee, the fewer transactions will be conducted... supply/demand)
Network difficulty "beta" (a beta is a Finance term discussing rate-of-change)
Blocks that accept no-fee-transactions vs blocks without
Transaction delay time (before being included in a block)
average miner investment in hardware