1) I don't understand potential implications of proof of stake well enough to discuss it, which is why I left it out. I might have brought it up at the end as a potential solution to Ethereum's speed problems, but since my biggest concern with Eth is the threats faced by smart contracts, I didn't want to distract.
2) Stellar isn't proof of stake actually! It's plain old consensus, similar to regular distributed systems tools like Raft, with the biggest difference being that each node defined which other nodes in the network it trusts. The concensus algorithm is called "federated byzantine agreement," which is a novel algorithm produced by members of SDF.
3/4) Stellar and Ripple are two currencies that I think have a high potential to do good things in the world--I actually recently started working for SDF, so I didn't want to shill too hard while bashing Btc/Eth :) Stellar is really exciting to me, the asset issuance and smart contract models it has feel really clever, and it's consensus algorithm is a big improvement for decentralization over what Ripple uses.
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