Ripple positions itself as a complement to, rather than a competitor with, Bitcoin - the site has a page dedicated to Ripple for bitcoiners. Ripple is a distributed network which means transactions occur immediately across the network - and as it is peer to peer - the network is resilient to systemic risk. Ripples aren't mined - unlike bitcoin and its peers - but each transaction destroys a small amount of XRP which adds a deflationary measure into the system. There are 100 billion XRP at present.
* PoW: Proof-of-Work || * PoS: Proof-of-Stake || * PoC: Proof-of-Capacity || * PoN: Proof-of-Nature