I've been doing research in trying to answer this question and haven't found a good answer yet. I was wondering what is the incentive for miners to include a transaction in a block when mining bitcoin? Since it's a race to solve the proof of work problem, why wouldn't miners just leave the block empty to save time?
The reward for mining the block is much bigger than the transaction fee(s) so it doesn't seem to make sense to me to waste time validating transactions for the block just to accumulate small transaction fees. If anyone can provide an answer, that would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.