This question is similar to a few others, but I haven't gotten seen a clear answer anywhere. It came up as I was trying to explain mining to a newcomer. And he asked: "If aliens came and put all humans to sleep ( and any automated transactions that may have been setup ) would miners have anything to do?"
So the question is, if zero transactions are happening, are miners still mining? And if yes, what exactly are they doing?
I explained also that eventually block rewards will end, so I'm looking for an answer that is agnostic of the bitcoin network now vs the post-block rewards bitcoin network ( after the 21 million are "mined" )