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I have seen numerous sites referring to sealing a block and mining a block. I understand a miner seals a block but I do not really understand what sealing actually involves.

On that point, how does the VM actually know that a miner was 'first' in PoW consensus algorithms?

I assume a miner could just fake a response and listening on the network and then taking the correct answer and presenting that as the miner's own one.

The VM must have a means of controlling this.

On another related issue, the question of validation has come up. Is a validator a miner in a PoW based network?

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Sealing and mining and minting are the same term that indicates the action of creating new block in blockchain.

  • Mining: Using in PoW consensus.
  • Sealing: Using in PoA consensus.
  • Minting: Using in PoS consensus.

If a block that were created in the way is not following the consensus it would be rejected by the consensus.

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