In MMOs time is money my friend, because all you need in order to make money is time. Unlike in the real world, not only is time money but resources are scarce. You see, in MMORPGs resources are unlimited, what resources you gathered today will be there tomorrow and forever on. So the values of the resources are diminished, because they’re unlimited and easy to gather. Not to mention costs to gather resources are low, whereas in the real world of economics they’re very expensive. For example, let’s compare the mining industry to the virtual mining industry.
In an MMO, to mine all you need is a pickaxe that probably costs a player nothing to purchase and before you know it that same player is out traveling the world looking for mining nodes. In the real economy the effort and costs it takes to start up a mining company is astronomical. For most people to start a company they will need to borrow money which means taking on risks. When people have to borrow thousands of dollars or more in order to start up a small company, it usually deters them from doing so as they fear they may never be able to pay back what they borrowed. In the MMO world the fact that a pickaxe costs a few silver or coppers and can be paid back from the first ore a player mines, encourages players to be miners or of something similar.
In the crafting process, there is very little if any risk to be involved. Since crafting is cheap, crafters can easily obtain money to fund their crafting activity. There is no need for a crafter to borrow money from another player in order to start up their crafting business. Without the need of borrowing, players can easily become crafters and have little to no risk of losing their money or other assets from a outstanding IOUs. So no matter what a crafter crafts or gathers, he will make money one way or another, because all he needs is time to do so.