The economy is still player driven in Albion
You cannot exchange it for in game currency through the developers. If you buy gold and trade it for silver, you have just given gold to another actual player. That player has just acquired the benefits of paying for the game through playing the game. That means that people who Buy Albion Online Gold and sell it are serving a function that supports players who aren't paying at all. As they buy gold and trade it for silver, gold and premium benefits are spread through the playerbase. The economy is still player driven. If other players don't care about gold, you aren't going to get good exchange rates. If other players do, then you're rewarding those players for their efforts.
Let's say Steve has no disposable income to speak of really. He really would like premium status but he can't afford to buy gold, even with it being pretty cheap relatively on the AO online shop. However, he wanders about playing and amasses a bit of silver. He wishes he could afford premium and support the development of the game but he can't (or he's got other priorities for his money).
Jake comes along and has three kids and a full time job and a disposable income (even if it's just a small one, like $13 a month or something). He uses some of the gold he buys to trade for silver on the Gold exchange so he can buy gear to get into the PvP and PvE content that he enjoys. Jake buys some silver and then uses that to buy a horse and some equipment. He then goes out to enjoy some stuff about the game.
Tina is a farmer and craftsperson. She really likes amassing silver for her guild or for pursing becoming the avatar of economic perfection. She's a cog in the engine that keeps producing materials that people need to succeed, such as food, weapons, or armor.
In this scenario, Jake trades gold to Steve. He then trades that Albion Online Silver to Tina. Steve and Tina benefit from Jake's purchasing gold from the AO marketplace. If Jake paid to win, he paid for Steve and Tina to win too. As more people "pay to win", more non-players win as well and the cycle continues. So as far as payment models that support the game, this is easily one of the friendliest to non-pay players.
Samantha likes PvP, as do her friends Rodger and Jenny. Since you can't buy more powerful gear than everyone else has access to, they make a habit of acquiring goods using less scrupulous methods while uttering warcries of "lol" and "noob". They ambush Jake during a PvP encounter and kill his character, then loot his stuff. They now have all the gear he bought from Tina. They can either use it themselves, or sell it, or give it to someone else.
Jake groans but he was only out a few bucks which is cheap for a good time (compared to similar things like going out to see a movie or eating dinner at a restaurant) and may be encouraged to drop some more gold in the AO fountain.