The principle reason for Stellar’s inception was to remove the necessity for centralized array of “digital asset exchanges”. These are essential to the Bitcoin infrastructure as they are the things which allow people to actually facilitate transactions on the system.
Whilst the system has all the hallmarks of a Ripple clone (which shouldn’t be surprising, considering its founder was also involved with the early development of Ripple), it has several important differences, namely the idea that it will remain a protocol despite having a large following & community.
In fact, the reality between the Ripple and Stellar systems is that they basically began with the same codebase (as many crypto projects do). The issue that the founders of Stellar had with Ripple was to do with its “critical consensus” code – which was removed entirely and rewritten from the ground up for the new Stellar system.