I think this idea is great! Semi-standardized badges, with a verifiable, open infrastructure. But I’d really like to see it implemented in education. I think this would be an awesome motivator in grades 3-8, for example. And I could see this replacing grades to a lesser or greater extent. What if we moved students through school the way Boy Scouts move through the program, for example?
Mozilla has an Open Badges initiative. I’ll definitely be investigating further.