Real World Trading, often shortened to RWT, is the exchange of in-game OSRS Gold or services for real life currency or items.
The most prolific form of RWT by far is the sale of Gp, as evident by the numerous Spamming Bots plaguing Free-to-Play servers of OSRS. While websites that buy and sell Gp do so on a massive scale, most players stick to relatively small infrequent purchases to give their banks the boost needed to buy a few extra items or gain some xp in skills. Those that find themselves quitting the game or just have some extra GP from the Duel Arena or PvM content can sell their ingame riches for a nice bonus of real life money or even exchange it for wealth in another game.
However there exists a vast "black market" in which players can find others offering services in every aspect of the game. Some of the more common services include Skill training, Questing, Minigame completion and Account Upgrades (Pay-to-Play membership). Most players of the game may be aware of the common RWT services available, but the market is much deeper and includes practically every possible niche found in the game. These lesser known markets involve the buying and selling of OSRS Accounts, Staking Account Rentals, Ingame Usernames, Infernal Capes and even Custom Bot Client creation. While not as well known, they certainly are very active and users will often have dozens of providers to choose from.
Why Real World Trade?
This differs widely depending if we are talking about the providers or players. The vast amount of users who dip their feet into RWT do so to gain an advantage in the game without spending hours upon hours to do so. After all, the best money making methods in OSRS require a near max level and gear (which take hundreds of hours to obtain), only netting 4-6 Million Gp per hour! At the current rate of Gp prices, that would be equivalent to $2-3 USD. It's easy to see why players would instead prefer to purchase a few Million Gp and instead of grinding out any repetitive or boring money making methods, do whatever they find fun! For newer players, buying Gp is even more beneficial. Gp is incredibly difficult to obtain on new or low level accounts and the purchase of even a small quantity of Gp can help them get ahead in the early game and avoid monotonous, slow xp methods. On the same note, other services allow a player to bypass the hours upon hours it takes to achieve certain skills or untradables, paying someone else to accomplish them on their behalf instead. RWT helps players achieve goals and items otherwise unobtainable without spending their lives inside the virtual world.
Is there any risk to RWT?
While there is always the possibility of a ban from Jagex (as RWT is against their T.O.S.) the ban rates for actual players are extremely low. Jagex mainly targets large scale operations and those who use Bots to "Gold Farm". There are many ways to help decrease those odds even more. The first is being an actual player of the game. Jagex is less likely to permanently ban a user who pays for monthly membership and is active in their world of Gielinor. Second, try to avoid Chineese and Venezuelan Gold websites as they are often targeted and watched by Jagex for activity. Lastly, do not buy exorbitant amounts of Gp at once. It's always better to avoid raising suspicion, and a level 3 character receiving 500m will definitely shine a light on your account, potentially leading to a review by Jagex. Be safe and take advantage of RWT to make or save your time and money!