Overall, probably no real effect - the network will adapt - but I like discussing valuation. From an economic perspective, still not sure I like this...though I probably would have made the same decision...
1) Was this put to a community vote? This seems like one of those issues that we should have a formal community process for...like officers propose an amendment, assign a voting address and a voting window, community members & officers vote, officers store vote/address results independently in another blockchain to prevent future manipulation and allow independent verification...like maybe datacoin?
2) Tx fees aren't much right now, probably won't even be noticed. And I know it's only an optional zero fee, but some users will choose it. I know other coins have changed tx fees, but MMC's long-term outlook - economics, ability to meet manifesto, effect on current price, etc - should be much more sensitive to network transfer fees than other coins, and so should be given more review.
Even an option for zero fee means an impact on future long-term network revenue. And even changing fees creates future price uncertainty by signaling that monetary policy can change arbitrarily. (A formal community review and voting process would counter that...)
We just sent a strong market signal to value MMC relative to future fiat (i.e., network energy costs), rather than relative to future BTC/other cryptos. MMC market volatility should increase in the short-term as beta with BTC/USD moves to unity.
3) Long-term, if you assume the MMC "product" is voting on the blockchain, and the cost of a vote is a tx fee, network revenue approaches network tx fees. Especially as block rewards go down in the future. Long-term, margin between network tx fees and electricity costs gives market incentives to mine and provides economic empowerment to meet the manifesto. We've now reduced long-term mining margins, incentives, and empowerment.
We used to assume a share's price was equal to the net present value of all discounted future earnings. In this case, network transaction fees. Any fundamental analyst, if there are any left, would expect share price to go down from a zero fee option. The only counterargument is that current fees were inhibiting growth of services denominated in MMC, which does not seem likely. That argument seems very similar to Dodd-Frank, cash for clunkers, QE, etc...
Seems like the officers just lowered future network earnings, reduced margins for future mining, and lowered future network security. In the best-case, in an attempt to spur investment in short-term service development. In the worst-case, counter to the manifesto and in a manner that could be considered fundamental price manipulation (vice technical market manipulation) and without shareholder consent?
4) On a related note, I would like to know who was part of the 15,000+ MMC sell-off on bter overnight.
Most movements are probably obscured by bter wallet addresses, but maybe we can work backward and do some snooping. Or we could leave private individuals' private finances private......Nah.
I'll throw down a 150 MMC tip for anyone who does a network analysis and writes up anything the blockchain can tell us about movements into or out of bter last night.
Anyone else interested?