Unless you want to explore the inner workings of blockchains, there are more differences between Ripple and Ethereum than there are meaningful similarities. The two currencies serve different goals, with Ripple aimed primarily at banks and large corporations that need to transfer money, whereas Ethereum is as much a platform for decentralized applications as it is a currency.
Both coins are in the top three cryptocurrencies in regard to market cap. Currently, Ethereum boasts a $60 billion market cap, while Ripple’s total market value is $26 billion. Both currencies have more than doubled their market cap in the past 12 months.
Smart contract support Ripple Labs has its own open source project for smart contracts, called “Codius”, which aims to interact with any type of cryptocurrency. Ethereum supports smart contracts natively, while the Codius project from Ripple labs aims to add the ability to attach smart contracts to any cryptocurrency.