The footprint of those is surely going to become an issue going forward, that's explains marquee pre-emptive actions to link them to renewables.
The question is whether intrinsically (and ceteris paribus) #decentralization consumes less (because traffic remains more localized)
@iron_bug localized in the sense that most people would be exchanging information with others in their vicinity (say city level) and signing up to geographically close instances would have various advantages.
Storage and compute efficiencies are an important factor and maybe they trump any network efficiencies. But it may also be the case that an optimum of sorts is far more decentralized than current, especially if one takes into account other factors such as resiliency.
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