Almost all MMOs that gain sufficient popularity with the gamer base have to deal, at one point, with the appearance of Real Money Trading or RTM. The idea is that someone makes money in-game, mainly through activities that are borderline or even outright banned by the creators, and then he resells the in-game money he makes for real-world currency, thereby enriching another player in the game world.
In a blog post, GM Grimmi, on behalf of CCP, the EVE Online developers, links the buying of ISL, the in-game currency, for real-world currency with a number of on-line crimes, such as phishing and account hacking, while also blaming ISK farmers of causing "general nuisance" and of keeping "the regular players from being able to enjoy EVE as they would like. Price of minerals, ore, ice, implants and so on is driven down by this kind of activity and thus ways for normal players to make ISK are effectively ruined."
With an in-game economy that is complex and genuinely driven by demand and offer, the impact of a major influx of currency in the pockets of a player, or of a corporation, can be really game altering, making other gamers play with a clear disadvantage. This has forced the developers of EVE to think of real tough measures against the people that buy ISK. They hope that, by limiting demand, the ISK farmers will largely disappear.
The game staff will be constantly watching the game world and GM Grimmi says: "we will mercilessly remove ISK bought for real money from ISK sellers, and we remove tens of billions of illegally purchased ISK every day. If the illegally bought ISK has been spent, then the wallets will simply be put in the negative, making any form of market activity impossible, as well as preventing any actions that require ISK to be spent such as new clones or buying ship insurance." Such heavy-handed consequences could put a dent in RTM in Eve. But the measures go even further with "a permanent warning placed on accounts involved. In extreme cases and for repeated offenses a permanent ban from our server will be the end result."
EVE offers an alternative system for getting extra ISK called the Secure ETC Trading System, which allows players to get a limited supply of currency by using their accounts and credit card details.