The world of Crypto-Currency is a finacial revolution. It has moved from an undergound movement to a mainstream investment. Since the launch of Bitcoin in January 2009, more than 700 coins have been created. Then combined value of all currencies is $80 Billion US Dollars, and growing every day. Some coins are mined. Some coins are distibuted as tokens, and can only be bought. It has gotten so larget that Banks, Hedge Funds, and Governments are basing transaction, investmenst, and laws trying to use, and or control them. The price of bitcoin as of 5/20/2017 is $2200 USD, while the price of Gold is $1255 USD.
With over 300,000 transactions a day, bitcoin scaling is a big issue. The two major factors behind crypto currencies becoming mainsteam are decentralization, and speed of transactions. The decentralization means that multiple players have to make decisions change the way bitcoin is processed. Currently transactions are lagging and this has to be resolved.
Ripple is an issued token. You cannot mine Ripple. It is referred to often as the "Bankers Coin". The developers are trying to replace the current international bank to bank transfer market by promising to make the transactions over 90% cheaper, faster. Currently, it takes days to move large sums. Ripples platform is near instant. Many crypto purists, who believe all coins should be minable, criticize coins like Ripple being made for banks. My opinion is that any crypto that the global market adopts adds credibility to all the markets.